Doctors save cancer patients long trip
February 6, 2013
One of the most promising new treatments for
many types of cancer is the stem cell
transplant, and a Spokane doctor appeared in an
interview this morning on KHQ Television to talk
about the 100th such transplant performed in the
region. A local man was number 54 on that list.
Though the interview lasted less than two
minutes, Oncologist Dr. Hakan Kaya's appearance
this morning brings a ray of hope to cancer
patients from throughout the region, not only
for a better chance at defeating some of the
deadliest forms of the disease, but for having
the comfort of family and friends to ease the
Dr. Kaya explained that before 2005, patients
had to travel to Seattle for the procedure, and
stay for the two to three months the procedure
lasted. Now, physicians at
Cancer Care Northwest, S601 Sherman Street,
Spokane, can perform the complex procedure right
in hospitals in Spokane.
In the past, physicians performed bone marrow
transplants in patients with cancers of the
blood; leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma, most of
which have their onset in the bones, where new
blood cells develop.
In a stem cell transplant, bone marrow is still
extracted, but now stem cells are extracted,
from the patient's own body, cultured and
reintroduced after radiation and chemotherapy
regimens are finished.
Stem cells are very unique ... they haven't yet
decided what they want to be when they grow up,
and can develop into any one of the 200 or so
different types of specialized cells that
comprise the human body, from skin cells to bone
cells to the cells that comprise our brains,
livers, kidneys, hearts and other organs and
Once cancerous tissue, which are basically cells
that ignore DNA encoded orders to die and grow
and divide uncontrollably, is killed, the stem
cells are reintroduced back into the patient's
bone marrow, where they can become new blood
cells free of the faulty DNA coding that
resulted in the formation of cancer.
Dean Satchwell, Bonners Ferry, underwent the procedure April 13,
2011, at Deaconess Medical Center, Spokane, near
enough to have visitors stop in during his
lengthy stay. It made a big difference, he said.
"Dr. Kaya is hoping to expand their program into
a Blood Cancer Center, in cooperation with
Sacred Heart Hospital, in the future," he said.
"This will allow the new trials and drug
therapies to come to Spokane. Now one has to
travel a long distance for trials. This will
also allow doctors to study blood cancers from
different cancer treatment centers in the area."
To see Dr. Kaya's interview,
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