Rep. Raymond Poe to undergo stem cell transplant

State Rep. Raymond Poe next week will begin undergoing a stem cell transplant designed to replace his bone marrow and cure a blood disease.

Poe, 70, will undergo the procedure at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, where he said he will be “at least a month.”

“That’s what they’re telling me in Texas, you’re coming down here for a cure, not a treatment,” Poe said.

Poe, a Springfield Republican, was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic syndrome or MDS.

In an interview with The State Journal-Register in August, Dr. Leonard Giannone, a Springfield oncologist and hematologist who has treated Poe, described the disease as a low-level malignancy of the stem cells that produce blood. He said it is not a fast-growing cancer, and that patients can live with it for years. Read the story by Doug Finke in the Springfield Journal-Register.