Udupi, Apr 23: A 12-year-old boy diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (a type of blood cancer) received chemotherapy elsewhere and was referred for bone marrow transplantation to Kasturba Hospital, Manipal.
The only treatment that could cure him of his cancer was a bone marrow transplantation. Bone marrow transplantation is a complex medical treatment done by a specialist team of doctors and nursing staff. It involves the elimination of cancerous bone marrow and replacement with healthy bone marrow using stem cells.
A full HLA matched donor is often selected for the donation of stem cells to the patient. Dr Archana M.V, Assistant Professor in the division said “Bone marrow transplantation has changed the lives of many patients who are diagnosed with diseases previously said to be incurable. Bone marrow transplant is a permanent curative treatment option in conditions like red cell disorders (thalassemia), bone marrow failure, immunodeficiency and high-risk cancers.”
The challenge, in this case, was that, there was no full HLA matched donors available and there was not much time left to find a donor. The team of doctors in the Division of PediatricHematology and Oncology at Kasturba Hospital, Manipal decided to perform a half-matched bone marrow transplant, a unique procedure to save the child. Patient’s sister (9yrs old) was only 50% HLA match and was selected once declared fit after medical tests. The patient underwent bone marrow transplantation in the specialised BMT unit for a period of 6 weeks and was discharged in a stable condition. He is now 7 months after a successful half-matched bone marrow transplant, free from cancer and continuing to do his routine activities.
Dr Vinay M V, pediatric bone marrow transplant specialist in the division added, “Bone marrow transplant has come a long way in the last 2 decades. With innovative techniques and advanced immunosuppressive medications available, performing a half-matched transplantation has been possible”.
Dr Vasudeva Bhat K, division in-charge informed, “This is the first patient to have undergone a successful haploidentical bone marrow transplant in this coastal region of the country.”
Medical superintendent, Dr Avinash Shetty appreciated the joint team work of the doctors in the Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, Blood Bank and nursing services towards saving life of a child with a blood cancer.