Donor lymphocyte infusion (or DLI) is the infusion (transfer) of a bone marrow transplant donor’s leukocytes into a recipient’s body.
We got a call from Dr. Loren’s office telling George there was a date for the infusion of donor cells – Wednesday, December 14. This was great news! Rachel, the bone marrow transplant coordinator said the donor was very happy to donate more cells and again, we are struck by the selflessness and generosity and humanity of George’s donor.
So, with insurance and donor approval completed, George will get his boost of donor cells and we are praying that this will kick his chimerism numbers up.
This set-back has been rather discouraging for George. He has expressed that he feels like the bone marrow transplant was for nothing, since the harsh chemo and total body radiation he went through was supposed to wipe out his marrow and he should have only the donor’s marrow and here we are, with his own marrow back in charge. I have to admit, it’s all above my pay grade. But we have read stories from other people that have undergone DLI and that was just the boost they needed to get their chimerism numbers up to 100% donor. We are hoping that will be the case for George.
When we got the last chimerism results, George’s counts had fallen even more.
We have never seen a result like this in other chimerism tests…just a donor percentage. It’s always been split up by cell type category. The good news is his CD3 (T-cells) count is still pretty high (96%). But the numbers plummeted in the other two categories.
Rachel said this time will be easier on the donor. They will only need T-cells instead of his whole marrow. Not sure what that does to the process on his side, but I am happy for that. As for George, it should be easy too! He will have fluids for about an hour before infusion, then the actual infusion take like 15 or 20 minutes! Then another hour of fluids. It’s all done on an outpatient basis.
That’s the basic update. We got a lot more information on the process, but I am not sure I completely understand it, so I will wait until I do to share!
One thing that has worried me is the complete absence of Graft vs Host Disease. We have been assured that some people don’t ever get it, but it is the only indicator that the donor cells are awake and fighting disease (unfortunately, they think your body is foreign and fight that). George is totally off his immunosuppressants and you would think that maybe there would be some…but nothing. We are wondering if he will be put back on them after his infusion. Stay tuned….