Bone Marrow Transplant is a landmark procedure which is typically used in patients with blood cancers and other forms of cancer. UAE is celebrating its first successful bone marrow transplant, which was performed in a multiple myeloma patient.
This is a very promising news for healthcare sector and cancer patients in UAE. Cancer, which is a leading disease in country, requires treatments like regenerative medicine and cell therapy. Cancer patients had to travel to other countries to get these treatments till now.
The successful transplant was performed with collaboration between Abu Dhabi Stem Cells Centre and Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, is a major breakthrough for patients who can get treatment within the country.
The announcement was made on Monday with launch of Abu Dhabi Bone Marrow Transplant Programme. Dr. Fatima Alkaabi, Executive Director of the Abu Dhabi Bone Marrow Transplant Programme said, “It fills us with great pride to be part of a first for the country and to make such a life-saving treatment available and accessible to those who need it here.”
“We are very grateful for the support and collaboration of SKMC in making this opportunity possible”, she added.
The unique procedure of bone marrow transplant which was doneby the centre included peripheral blood stem cells harvest from patient. The patient then went through high-dose round of chemotherapy to help remove all cancerous cell and most of bone marrow. Harvested stem cells were infused back into bloodstream then where they replace the destroyed cells. Over period of two weeks production of healthy non-malignant blood cells can be then resumed.
Dr. Yendry Ventura, General Manager of Stem Cell Cebtre and Director of Abu Dhabi Bone Marrow Transplant Programme said, “The patient is basically without an immune system while waiting for the transfused cells to take effect and must remain in isolation under the strictest infection control guidelines.”
He added, “Since we are still in the midst of a global pandemic, we took additional precautions to ensure the best outcome for all involved.”
Abu Dhabi Stem Cells Centre has been a pioneer in field of medical research in UAE, along with playing a key role in country’s fight against Covid-19 pandemic. Trial results of treatment for Covid-19 patients, called UAECell19, were announced earlier last month by the team.
The centre, which opened in December, has already attracted attention of international audience and received press coverage globally for its research on Covid-19 treatment. The procedure involves retrieving stem cells from patient’s blood and reintroducing them as a fine mist via nebulizer to lungs. This helps in regeneration of lung cells and thereby improving body’s immune response.