Unfortunately, patients having had chemotherapy or a blood and marrow transplant may still have a recurrence of their underlying disease, despite the treatment. This usually occurs within the first two years after chemotherapy or the blood and marrow transplant but, occasionally, occurs many years later.
It is important to realize that a blood and marrow transplant does not always cure patients with cancer. A second BMT is rarely beneficial for patients that have relapsed. However, further chemotherapy or radiation may be helpful although not curative.
In certain situations, a boost of immune cells from the original donor's blood may be extremely effective in controlling recurrent cancer in a patient. This procedure is known as a Donor Leukocyte Infusion (DLI).