What to Expect
Bone Marrow Transplants
Treatments | Alternative/Homeopathy
What are the questions?
- Decision - The decision for a parent whether or not
to pursue alternative/homeopathy treatments rather than traditional
chemotherapy or transplants is one of the most difficult ones
presented to the parents. The question can arise at the beginning
of treatment, in the middle of chemotherapy treatment if the
child does not achieve remission, or upon relapse after being
in remission from a traditional chemotherapy or transplant treatment
- Traditional or Alternative/Homeopathy - The advancements
in treatment of pediatric leukemia are in quantum leaps versus
steps. Articles show that acute lymphatic leukemia ("ALL")
remission rates are on the increase to a percentage often cited
as 70% to 80% versus acute myeloid leukemia ("AML")
that is cited at 20% to 30%. Over fifteen years ago, ALL was
often a fatal disease. Today, a majority of children will enter
into remission. However, news articles and the popularity of
alternative/homeopathy treatments in the United States and other
countries are also increasing in frequency.
What was the experience of the Strouds?
- No Choice - The search for a suitable treatment for
Jennifer Stroud had to include alternative treatments. Her first
chemotherapy treatment against AML resulted in a remission only
after the second phase. She then relapsed within six months.
She achieved a second remission by an allogenic bone marrow transplant.
However, she then relapsed a second time within six months after
- Treatment Programs - The alternative/homeopathy treatment
programs reviewed by the Strouds spanned four continents. An
example of the treatments presented to us include:
Clinical Nutritional Therapy
Radioactive Monoclonal Antibodies
Therapy Nutritional Evaluation
Biological Response Modifiers (BBRMs)
Programmed Cell Death Therapy
Cladribine Treatment (2 CDA)
Japanese Herbal Soup and SMANCS Therapy
Is a data base available?
The result of our effort is an Evaluation Criteria set forth
below and a Data Base maintained by the Jennifer Lynn Stroud
Foundation that is available to all serious inquiries addressed
to Children With Leukemia on the Correspondence
Anyone that has information on Alternative/Homeopathy Treatments
is URGED to send the information to Children With Leukemia
to be added to the data base. The data base is available as an
"international information highway" for Alternative/Homeopathy
Treatments to help parents, physicians and/or treatment teams
make this decision.
What evaluation criteria is available?
- Medical File - Each parent should request a copy of
their child's medical file after the initial diagnosis and after
each phase of the treatment. We found it essential to have a
current medical file. Alternative/Homeopathy Treatments will
often use this medical file. A consent form should be requested
from the hospital or medical professionals and be executed by
the child's parents or guardian.
- Helpful Hints - We found the following questions and
helpful hints essential in determining the validity of Alternative/Homeopathy
Treatments, and whether or not the application would be helpful
- Pediatric Application - Has this treatment been used
for pediatric care? A number of the Alternative/Homeopathy Treatments
contain injection therapy, oral pills and supplements that often
a child sick with leukemia cannot or will not take. We also found
more than half of the Alternative/Homeopathy Treatment programs
were set up for adult patients and had no experience with pediatric
- Ingredients - What are the specific ingredients of
the medicine? Since a number of the programs include injections,
I.V. treatments, pills and supplements, we found asking for the
specific pharmaceutical description important. I personally felt
suspicious of a clinic that was not willing to divulge this information
after we would sign any confidentiality agreement.
- Protocol - What is the treatment protocol? The physical
condition of the child and the pain of additional treatment versus
the benefit need to be weighed seriously by the parents and the
treatment team. The parent needs to determine if this treatment
has been used for the child's specific type of leukemia. We found
Alternative/Homeopathy Treatments often are effective for solid
tumors versus leukemia.
- References - Will references of patients be furnished?
We requested references of patients that had used this treatment
in the past year. We would then contact and personally talk to
the patients, if appropriate, and their parents. A number of
clinics will indicate that this is contrary to patients' rights.
However, upon further inquiry, we were referred to individuals
that had consented to the use of their name and would openly
discuss the treatment program. I also asked for the names of
parents where the treatments were not successful. I did not want
to only hear "success stories."
What are the legal concerns?
Parents should be aware that Alternative/Homeopathy Treatments
are often frowned upon in the United States. These treatments
are outside the traditional chemotherapy/transplant procedures.
Cases exist where parents start a traditional chemotherapy program
and then try to remove their child from these programs. The parents
can be subject to legal action by state child protective agencies
asserting the state's rights over the parent's rights. We found
that open and candid discussion with the physician in charge
of your child is the best route. A confrontational relationship
is no benefit to the child and adds undue stress to the parents
What are the financial concerns?
The majority of Alternative/Homeopathy Treatment clinics require
cash payments or direct financial guarantees from the parents
of the child. Insurance policies issued by United States companies
generally do not cover Alternative/Homeopathy Treatments. However,
managed care contracts covered by insurance policies are beginning
to recognize Alternative/Homeopathy Treatments and provide limited
Parents are urged to consult with their insurance company's
representative to discuss the coverage of Alternative/Homeopathy
Treatments. We found our insurance company to be most informative.
The insurance companies also use managed care as a means to reduce
the medical costs and usually are willing to discuss openly and
honestly Alternative/Homeopathy Treatments. The parents should
be prepared, however, to receive little or no financial assistance
for Alternative/Homeopathy Treatments.
A word of caution. Important Note: Parents should determine
that if a child receives Alternative/Homeopathy Treatments outside
of current insurance coverage, will that preclude future insurance
coverage of traditional chemotherapy or transplant procedures.
Several of the insurance policies contain clauses that deny coverage
after use of an Alternative/Homeopathy Treatment. Since most
insurance companies assign a major claim representative to supervise
coverage, the parents should ask this important question before
pursuing Alternative/Homeopathy Treatments.
How can I make a difference?
We ask any person to send information or references regarding
Alternative/Homeopathy Treatments to the Jennifer Lynn Stroud
Foundation at the address, fax or E-Mail set forth on the Correspondence
page. We urgently ask for any parents' experience in dealing
with Alternative/Homeopathy Treatments. The data base is meant
to be a no charge "international information highway."
We ask that the information be of a quality and nature that it
benefits families seeking to review Alternative/Homeopathy Treatments.