Hospital conducts bone marrow transplant

Hospital conducts bone marrow transplant

Two sisters from Cambodia have been cured of thalassemia after their 11-month-old brother donated them bone marrow. The transplant was conducted at the Mazumdar Shaw Cancer Centre at Narayana Health City recently. 

Dr Sunil Bhat, who heads the Paediatric Oncology, Haematology and Bone Marrow Transplant Department at the hospital, said the younger sister got a match from her brother, unlike the older sister. 

Since the older sister did not get a match for her human leukocyte antigens (HLA), doctors conducted Haplo-identical transplant wherein the father’s bone marrow, who was half-matched, was used. 

A new technique was used in the Haplo (half-matched) transplant as the donor stem cells were not fully matching the patient. “Her bad cells were taken out in a procedure called TCR alpha-beta depletion and only the good cells were given to the patient,” explained Dr Bhat.

He continued: “Although this technique helps, it would delay the immune recovery, which would put them at risk of serious infections. To address this issue of slow immune recovery, CD45RA depletion is an additional technique recently introduced, which helps us to give memory cells and fight infections in patients. This new technique has been introduced for the first time in India for treating thalassemia major.”

The transplant was performed on the elder sister in June this year, and she is cured of her disease completely.