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Haplo-Identical Bone Marrow Transplantation, “The Glass is Always Half Full”

10-10-2014 06:47 PM CET | Health & Medicine

Press release from: Dharamshila Hospital and Research Centre

Cancer Hospital India

Cancer Hospital India

A 25 year old IT professional was struck with Hodgkin ’s disease which is one of the most curable cancers. He was treated with standard chemotherapy and the disease went away only to reappear a few months later. This time he received local radiation and Autologous Bone Marrow Transplantation (BMT). However, the response was shortlived and the cancer sprung its ugly head within 6 months.

The young man and his distraught family went from one centre to another. Various forms of chemotherapy and a new drug called Brentuximab were suggested to him by the experts. However, the drug Brentuximab had to be imported and each cycle of treatment would have costed 5 lakhs. Some had suggested an Allogeneic BMT but his only brother was fully mismatched with him and this option was no longer a consideration.

Dr Suparno Chakrabarti and Dr Sarita Jaiswal had been running a HAPLOIDENTICAL BMT PROGRAM in the country for 3 years and the patient and his father came to them at Dharamshila BMT Centre despite all the other experts in the country discouraging them to go for such an option. At the outset, the patient was given standard chemotherapy which showed an initial response, but as it had happened so many times before, the cancer bounced back. The patients parents were half matched with him as expected, but the team at Dharamshila realised that just doing the BMT is not going to help the young man. They identified a unique population of white blood cells in the father, but not in the mother which could kill the tumour cells without causing any adverse reaction in the patient. They are called ‘KIR ligand mismatched NK cells’’. These cells were analysed and were found very effective in killing tumour cells in the test tube. Dr Sarita Jaiswal had been trained in transplants involving such cell manipulations at Italy and USA. The patient’s body could not have received any further intensive chemotherapy. They sought help from Dr Kanika Sharma to administer a small dose of radiation to the entire body keeping in mind that he has already received a very large dose of radiation to his heart, lungs and neck. With this tiny dose of radiation and some immunosuppressive drugs the patient was infused half matched cells from his father and 7 days later his father’s white cells were collected and the special cells were separated and infused to the patient.
The stem cells from the father started growing in the patient after 2 weeks and he remained free of all bacterial and viral infections since then. The blood and bone marrow of the patient were regularly analysed and it showed that the cells from the father which were supposed to be killing the tumour without causing any reaction in the patient, were growing in number.

Five months after the BMT, a PET scan was done to see the state of the cancer. To everyone’s joy and surprise, it had disappeared completely.
Few such cases have been reported worldwide and this is the first time Indian doctors have used innovation, science and technology to cure such a refractory cancer. Dr Sarita Jaiswal had seen some very impressive results with Haploidentical BMT using cell manipulation, but to replicate the procedure in its entirety would cost 40 lakhs at least. Hence, Dr Sarita innovated this unique way of carrying out the Half matched BMT at a low cost and administer selective cells at the right time which shall help in hitting the tumour as well as fighting infections.

Several such Haploidentical BMT using this unique and innovative technology are being carried out by Dr Sarita Jaiswal at Dharamshila BMT Centre. Dr Sarita says that it is not just about giving the cells but understanding the science behind it and applying it in the right context in the correct way. Dr Suversha Khanna, who had long dreamt of a BMT unit at Dharamshila Hospital expressed her satisfaction at the optimum utilisation of the world class infrastructure so painstakingly erected in the hospital, 20 years after its inception. She said that that there is little point in having yet another BMT centre, if it’s not going to make a difference to the majority of the suffering patients. Today, with the infrastructure and the expertise of the BMT team, ably supported by Radiation Oncologists, its possible that every patient who needs a BMT can have one from a Half matched (HAPLOIDENTICAL) Parents, Siblings or Children and with the right choice of donor can even get cured of otherwise refractory blood or lymph gland cancers. Dr Suparno Chakrabarti who had started such transplants for the first time in India says that the ‘glass is always half full’.

Passion for Excellence in Cancer Care

A group of concerned relatives and friends of cancer patients felt the need to provide complete cancer treatment under one roof. They felt it was their “Dharma” (duty) to provide to cancer patients what was not available to their near and dear ones, when they were suffering from cancer. They laid the “Shila” (foundation) of their duty by registering a NGO, Dharamshila Cancer Foundation And Research Centre (DCFRC) on 19 April, 1990.

DCFRC Commissioned the first phase of the Dharamshila Cancer Hospital And Research Centre (DCHRC) with 100 beds in 1994 and expanded to 300 beds in 2006, with the sole objective of making cancer treatment available, accessible and affordable.

Being totally focused on cancer for more than two decades, Dharamshila is continuously adding world class cutting edge technologies for early diagnosis and cancer treatment.

Dharamshila Hospital is the most trusted cancer hospital for patients from all over India and neighbouring countries for its policy of avoiding unnecessary procedures/hospitalization and transparent billing. Dharamshila hospital has won the goodwill of thousands of Patients who are enjoying cancer free life.

Highly qualified skilled and experienced teams of organ specific cancer specialists practice evidence based medicine and follow international treatment guidelines to achieve best treatment outcomes.
Being sensitive to the physical, medical, emotional and financial needs of patients, Dharamshila strives to serve patients with love, devotion, compassion, commitment and positive attitude.

High quality standards of treatment, complete patient safety and satisfaction, improving cure rates and adding quality to life will always remain our hallmark.

Dharamshila Hospital and Research Centre
Near New Ashok Nagar Metro Station,
Vasundhara Enclave, Delhi - 110096, INDIA

Tel: 011 - 43066353 (9:00 AM to 6:00 PM) ,
Fax: 011 - 22617770 / 22619033 / 22618574

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