Udupi: First graft manipulated half-matched bone marrow transplantation at Kasturba Hospital

Media Release

Udupi, Aug 25: A 1-year-old boy, was diagnosed with Severe Combined immunodeficiency (Type of Immunodeficiency) and was referred for bone marrow transplantation to Kasturba Hospital, Manipal. The only treatment that could cure him of his disease was a bone marrow transplantation.

Bone marrow transplantation is a complex medical treatment done by a specialist team of doctors and nursing staff, which has changed the lives of many patients who are diagnosed with diseases previously said to be incurable. It involves the elimination of diseased bone marrow and replacement with healthy bone marrow using stem cells. Bone marrow transplant is a permanent curative treatment option for conditions like red cell disorders (thalassemia), bone marrow failure, immunodeficiency, and high-risk cancers. A full HLA-matched donor is ideal however, with the advancement of technology and innovation currently, we can offer bone marrow transplantation from half-match donors as well. Hence every needy patient will have a donor in the form of either one of the parent or siblings.

The team of doctors in the division of pediatric hematology and oncology at Kasturba Hospital, Manipal decided to perform a half-matched bone marrow transplant, a unique procedure to save the child. The patient’s father was only a 50% HLA match and was selected as a donor once declared fit after medical tests. Dr Archana M V, assistant professor in the division said “The patient was suffering from a life-threatening tubercular infection, because of which chemotherapy and immunosuppressive medicines could not be used. To avoid such medicines, stem cell graft manipulation technique known as TCR Alpha Beta depletion was utilized, which ensured a smooth course during transplant and reduced side effects.”

This patient underwent bone marrow transplantation in the specialized BMT unit and was discharged after 6 weeks in stable condition. He is now one year after a successful half-matched bone marrow transplant with T cell depletion, free from disease and infection.

The transplant was supported by the team of doctors in Blood Bank led by Dr Shamee Shastry, professor and head department of immunohematology and blood transfusion. Dr Vasudeva Bhat K, division in-charge, informed that “This is the first patient to have undergone a successful T cell-depleted haploidentical bone marrow transplant in this coastal region of the state. With this innovative technique, we can offer bone marrow transplantation for those who do not have fully matched donor without major complications”.

Medical superintendent, Dr Avinash Shetty appreciated the teamwork of the doctors in the division of pediatric hematology and oncology, blood bank, and nursing services towards saving the life of a child with rare blood disorder.




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Title: Udupi: First graft manipulated half-matched bone marrow transplantation at Kasturba Hospital

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