Loma Linda University Cancer Center has partnered with the Veterans Affairs health system in the Inland Empire to offer stem cell transplants tailored to the needs of veterans suffering from certain blood cancers. Stem cell transplants have been proven to keep blood cancers like mantle cell lymphoma in remission and extend patients’ lives significantly. Army veteran John Gilmore, diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma, achieved complete remission within a year of diagnosis with the help of the Cancer Center. He underwent an autologous stem cell transplant, where healthy blood stem cells from his own body replaced the diseased blood cells.
Dr. Mojtaba Akhtari, a hematologist-oncologist and the chief of adult bone marrow stem cell transplant at the Cancer Center, emphasized that personalized care is provided to every patient. Gilmore’s case, for instance, initially faced challenges due to kidney dysfunction. However, after evaluation at the Transplant and Cellular Therapy Committee meeting, his treatment was tailored to his specific needs. This approach, based on scientific evidence, allowed him to modify his treatment regimen and receive the transplant.
The Cancer Center’s Bone Marrow Transplant program offers an accessible service for people living in the Inland Empire who would otherwise have to seek transplants outside of the state. Patients are required to stay close to the transplant center for a minimum of three months post-transplant. For veterans like Gilmore, receiving treatment close to home is advantageous. Gilmore expressed gratitude for the care and kindness shown to him by the cancer team, and he looks forward to continuing his recovery and enjoying outdoor activities with his group of veteran friends.
The Cancer Center is dedicated to providing comprehensive care to cancer patients, offering a range of resources. For more information or to make an appointment, visit lluh.org/cancer-center or call 1-800-782-2623.