Case Study

Case Study

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Half-matched Bone Marrow Success opens new doors for medical fraternity

New Delhi, February 8, 2012: Indian medical fraternity has all the reasons to feel proud about. A one-of-it’s-kind half-matched bone marrow transplant surgeries’ success has opened new avenues for Indian doctors. They say it may not be the perfect match, but it can act as a perfect solution for those in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant.

A bone marrow transplant is a procedure to replace damaged or destroyed bone marrow with healthy bone marrow stem cells. Bone marrow is the soft, fatty tissue inside your bones. Stem cells are immature cells in the bone marrow that give rise to all of your blood cells. It is performed after a patient has high-dose chemotherapy or radiation treatment for conditions that don't respond to standard doses.

Whereas, Half-matched bone marrow or stem cell transplants for blood cancer patients have typically been associated with disappointing clinical outcomes but the recent successful surgery done by Dr. Dinesh Bhurani, the Senior Consultant, Bone Marrow transplant program at the Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute & Research Center, is now being considered as an advantage for the medical fraternity.

"Our half-match bone marrow transplant results open up many doors for different types of patients who can't find an exact match. I recently did a half matched transplant on a 21-year-old patient for high risk blood cancer (Leukemia). There is very high risk of mortality in this intensive procedure that requires expertise, but now people are slowly getting experience with this procedure in few centers abroad,” said Dr. Dinesh.

“Fully matching is available only in 30-40% people, so if it is done properly with good results it will cater 50-60% people who require transplant to save their lives. It also justifies recommending that patients at high risk for relapse should consider having a half-match transplant early in the treatment of their disease,” he added.

In past the clinical trial conducted at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson testing its unique, two-step half-match procedure has produced some promising results: the probability of overall survival was 45 percent in all patients after three years and 75 percent in patients who were in remission at the time of the transplant.

“The patient had come to us earlier too he was at high risk.  We treated him twice but results were not showing. Then we thought of half-matched bone marrow surgery and it has been a success,” said Dr Dinesh.

It is not a very common treatment that takes place in India but it is definitely practiced in abroad. Indian doctors are getting the right knowledge about the new developments and the procedures. This treatment could be of utmost help if the numbers turn into success more than failures.

Doctor also reveals that there are certain criteria’s that are considered before selecting the donor for the patient. The donor has to be healthy and fit.

Dr. Dinesh Bhurani concludes on a positive note by saying, that “We foresee this treatment as a life savior.”

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