The preparative regimen includes chemotherapy (chemo) given to you through your central line. Sometimes, it also includes radiation therapy.
The regimen will:
- Destroy as many of the diseased cells that are left in your body as possible
- Weaken your immune system to help keep your body from rejecting the donated cells after transplant
Allogeneic preparative regimens
There are 2 main types of preparative regimens:
- Standard-intensity regimen: Uses high doses of chemo, with or without high doses of radiation. Also called a myeloablative regimen.
- Reduced-intensity regimen: Uses a lower dose of chemo, with or without lower doses of radiation. Also called a non-myeloablative regimen.
Your doctor will choose the type of preparative regimen for you based on your disease and overall health.
Autologous preparative regimens
For this type of transplant, you get higher doses of chemo (with or without radiation) than you would get if you weren’t getting a transplant. The higher doses may cause more severe side effects, but they also destroy more diseased cells.
The number of days you receive the preparative regiment will depend on the type of regimen. The days you receive the preparative regimen are called “minus” days (or –days). Some patients may receive the regimen for an entire week while others may only receive it for a few days. This part of the transplant process is the “countdown” to “Day Zero” — the day you receive the new cells from your donor.
You will likely have side effects from your preparative regimen. Some may last a few days. Others can last longer. Your transplant team will treat your side effects and help keep you comfortable.
Some common side effects are:
- Fatigue (feeling tired)
- Vomiting (throwing up)
- Lack of appetite
- Mouth sores
- Hair loss
- Skin rash
You may have other side effects in the first month after the preparative regimen. Your transplant team will watch you closely and care for you throughout your recovery after transplant.