Facility of bone marrow transplant at IGIMS quickly

PATNA: The (IGIMS) would conduct and stem cell therapy from the first week of June, medical superintendent Dr Manish Mandal said on Wednesday. IGIMS will be the first government hospital in the state to carry out such procedures.
“We have fixed the rates for bone marrow transplant surgery and stem cell therapy on the basis of at Rs3-4 lakh. Earlier, patients who visited the hospital in Mumbai for the medical procedures had to pay around Rs7-8 lakh,” he told this newspaper.

The hospital is installing its second and advanced apheresis machine that separates the blood into all its components required for bone marrow transplant and stem cell therapy. The first apheresis machine was installed in the hospital in December last year, which can separate the blood into only three components — white and red blood cell and platelets.

Bone marrow transplant is useful for patients suffering from different types of cancer such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma. “High dosage of chemotherapy often damages the patient’s bone marrow, which is important for a person’s immune system. We separate the stem cell from the bone marrow of a patient about to undergo chemotherapy. We store the stem cell at -30 degrees C and later infuse the stem cell back into the patient. After two weeks, new bone marrow is regenerated in the patient,” Dr Avinash Pandey of IGIMS medical oncology department said.

He said against the requirement across India, only one-tenth of patients suffering from various types of blood cancer received bone marrow transplants or stem cell therapy as very few institutions conducting the procedures.

“As of now, we are training the blood bank technicians on how to operate the machine. Once the training is complete, we plan to conduct four transplant surgeries in the next two months after the training,” Dr Pandey said.

The hospital, as of now, would conduct autologous transplants where patients receive their own stem cells. Sources said the hospital is also planning to initiate allogeneic transplants in the second phase where patients receive stem cells from their brother, sister, or parents.

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