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Medical complications after stem cell transplant

After a person in Illinois undergoes a stem cell transplant for cancer, there are some medical complications that the patient could experience at a later date. Some of these could be linked to the transplant procedure itself while others are a side effect of the other cancer treatments that the patient may have had to undergo.

One of the possible, but rare, side effects of a stem cell transplant is a form of lymphoma called post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder. The disorder is caused by the conditioning treatment that is given to patients prior to allogeneic stem cell transplants. When a patient has this disorder, their T-cells may malfunction and they could experience out-of-control lymph cell growth. The condition has been linked to the development of Epstein-Barr virus.

A majority of cancer patients who have gone through a stem cell transplant procedure are unable to have children later on. This side effect is caused by chemotherapy or radiation therapy that is often used in conjunction with a stem cell transplant. After a stem cell transplant, patients also have a risk that they could experience a relapse of the cancer they had or develop a secondary cancer. Medicines that are used during a stem cell transplant could also lead to long-term organ damage.

A patient who experiences an abnormal side effect after a stem cell transplant or other cancer treatment might wonder if a surgical error was made. Someone in this situation might want to speak with an attorney about the possibility of filing a claim for medical malpractice. An attorney with experience in this area can, with the help of experts, examine the details of the patient's medical history to determine whether there was negligence.

Source: American Cancer Society, "Transplant problems that may show up later", accessed on Feb. 4, 2015

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