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Amyloidosis

Our Team Approach

The UK Amyloidosis Program team includes multidisciplinary specialists including hematologists, cardiologist, nephrologists, and gastroenterologists with a broad range of expertise in medical care and treatment. Our team provides expertise and offers patients personalized care and treatment plans suited for their needs.

Clinical Trials

Clinical trials help keep our cancer care on the leading edge by allowing researchers to apply cancer knowledge as it develops to give you the best chance of survival.

At Markey, our specialists place a high value on all areas of amyloidosis treatment, from patient care designed for the unique patient to developing treatments of the future.

Visit Markey’s Clinical Trials webpage for more information on how to participate, as well as the NCI Clinical Trials webpages for additional resources.

Request an appointment online or call 859-257-4488 or 866-340-4488 (toll free).

  • Learn more about the ongoing cancer clinical trials at Markey.
  • Download the Markey Cancer Center Clinical Trials app.
  • Your First Visit

    • For your first visit, you will be directed to the multidisciplinary clinic on the first floor of the Ben F. Roach Building Building. Directions to the Ben F. Roach Building.
    • After registering at the front desk, a receptionist will help guide you through your appointment.
    • Free parking is available to patients in the Whitney-Hendrickson parking lot.
    • Please remember to bring your patient packet with the completed forms. These items will help your doctor learn more about your case and determine the best plan for your care.
    • Review the patient handbook to learn about your stay and everything Markey offers for patients and families.
    • UK HealthCare accepts many forms of insurance.
  • Cancer Prevention

    You can lower your risk of cancer by committing to practices that build a healthy lifestyle. These recommendations can lower your risk for this disease, as well as improve your overall basic health.

    Avoid using tobacco products. Tobacco has been tied to multiple cancers, and it is responsible for 90 percent of lung cancer deaths.

    Stay physically active. Your physical activity is related to risk for colon and breast cancer. Excess weight gained from inactivity increases the risk of multiple cancers.

    Limit alcohol consumption. It is important to be mindful of your alcohol consumption. Alcohol intake, even in moderate amounts, can increase the risk for colon, breast, esophageal and oropharyngeal cancer.

    It is always beneficial to be proactive in understanding your health. Learn more about our Cancer Screening Program and events.

  • Diagnosis

    If your healthcare provider believes you may have amyloidosis, you will need certain exams and tests to be sure.

    You should expect to be asked questions about your health history, your symptoms, risk factors, and family history of disease. Understanding your background will help your provider make a diagnosis.

    You may have one of the following tests:

    • Biopsy. For this test, a tissue sample is taken and checked for signs of amyloidosis. The biopsy may be taken from abdominal fat, bone marrow, or an organ such as your liver or kidney. Analyzing this tissue will help your doctor determine the type of amyloid deposit.
    • Imaging Test. An X-ray image or CT scan may reveal any abnormalities that your healthcare providers need to identify. 
    • Echocardiogram and/or Cardiac MRI. An evaluation of your cardiac function for possible involvement with amyloidosis is a very important component for managing amyloidosis.
    • Laboratory testing. Blood and urine testing will be necessary to evaluate extent of amyloidosis and organ function.

    Getting your test results

    Following your test, your nurse navigator will inform you when you can expect the results of your imaging test or biopsy. Further management will be recommended at that time.

  • Chemotherapy

    Chemotherapy is one of the longest used and most common treatments for specific types of Amyloidosis.

    In the case of systemic amyloidosis, chemotherapy works by interfering with the abnormal blood cells ability to produce the abnormal, or amyloid, protein. A combination of chemotherapy medicines is typically used to fight systemic amyloidosis.

    While chemotherapy can be quite effective in treating certain amyloidosis, the medicines reach all parts of the body, not just the abnormal cells. There can be many side effects during treatment, and being prepared for these side effects can help you and your caregivers manage them effectively.

    How is chemotherapy given?

    Chemotherapy can be given in various ways, such as:

    • A pill to swallow.
    • An injection (shot) into the muscle or fat tissue.
    • Directly into the bloodstream, or intravenously (also called IV).
    • Topically (applied to the skin).
    • Directly into a body cavity.

    Chemotherapy is usually given in cycles in order to allow healthy cells the time to recover. Treatment may be given daily, weekly, every few weeks, or monthly, depending on your situation.

    Chemotherapy is typically given in an outpatient setting. This includes a hospital, clinic, or healthcare provider's office.

    Patients are encouraged to take along something that is comforting to occupy their time during treatment. Since it is hard to predict how a patient will feel after treatment, it is important that the patient have arrangements to have someone drive them to and from their appointment.

  • Questions to Ask Your Doctor

    Your healthcare team will talk with you regarding the best options to manage your amyloidosis. You may want to bring a family member or close friend with you to appointments. Consider asking each of the following questions:

    • Where is the amyloidosis located?
    • What’s the  subtype of amyloidosis that I have?
    • What type of treatment do you recommend and why?
    • What type of side-effects come along with this treatment?
    • Should I consider taking part in a clinical trial?
    • If I need surgery biopsy, where will the incision be?
    • If I need surgery biopsy, how much tissue will be removed?
    • What type of follow-up care will I need?
    • When can I go back to my normal activities?