A remarkable achievement for Apollo’s leading Bone Marrow Transplant Programme has given a new lease of life to adults and children with cancerous and non-cancerous diseases.
Navi Mumbai, 23 May 2023: Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai announced the achievement of 40 successful Bone Marrow Transplants (BMT) with reasonably good outcomes in both adult and paediatric patients over the last four years. Bone marrow transplantation replaces the existing diseased or dysfunctional bone marrow when it does not produce enough healthy blood cells. BMT is a life-saving procedure carried out in patients suffering from haematological disorders such as leukaemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and certain genetic conditions like thalassemia. The accomplishment of 40 BMTs includes 10 haploidentical (partially matched) BMTs which showcases the high calibre of the hospital's bone marrow transplant program.
The BMT procedure involves replacing the patient's diseased or damaged bone marrow with healthy bone marrow stem cells from a donor. There are two main types of BMTs: Autologous, where the patient's own stem cells are used, and Allogeneic, where stem cells are obtained from a donor.
Dr.Anil D’Cruz, Director Oncology, Apollo Cancer Centers, said, “At Apollo Cancer Centres, we continually strive for excellence in providing comprehensive care for cancer patients. Our state-of-the-art facilities encompass cutting-edge technologies and a team of highly skilled experts specializing in different cancers. We remain steadfast in our mission to combat blood disorders and cancers and are proud to have carried out 40 BMTs. Our understanding of the importance of timely diagnosis and treatment has enabled us to make a positive difference in the lives of our patients.”
Dr. Punit Jain, Lead & Consultant BMT Program, Consultant Haematologist & Hemato-Oncologist, Apollo Cancer Centres, Navi Mumbai expressed his pride in the hospital’s achievement, saying, "It is a proud moment for Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai to achieve the milestone of 40 BMTs with success rates of 65-70% that are comparable to global facilities offering BMT. Our dedicated team of specialists has worked tirelessly to ensure the best possible outcomes for our patients. We are proud that our program continued even during the COVID-19 pandemic with strict infection control measures that ensured the safety of both patients and healthcare workers. The BMT team at Apollo Hospitals Navi Mumbai successfully navigated these challenges, showcasing our resilience and adaptability."
“Our transplant team closely monitors the patient’s progress to stay on alert for early signs of complications as the side effects can range from mild to dangerous. One of the patients, a 20-year-old female diagnosed with aplastic anaemia or severe bone marrow failure underwent BMT four years ago. She developed GvHD and viral infections over the next four months requiring several further hospitalisations. But the extensive care provided to her ensured that all her medicines were stopped after six months of the transplant. As part of the protocol, she later underwent multiple vaccinations to boost her immune system. Four years post-transplant, she regularly visits the hospital for follow-ups, has a robust immune system, healthy blood cell counts, and is happily married,” added Dr. Punit Jain.
After an allogeneic BMT, a patient can develop secondary complications called Graft-versus-Host Disease (GvHD). GvHD occurs when the graft's immune cells recognize the host cells as foreign bodies and attack the recipient's body cells. To prevent and treat GvHD, a combination of immunosuppressive drugs is administered to the patients, and the patient has to be under the observation of critical care specialists.
Dr. Vipin Khandelwal, Consultant - Haemato-Oncology, Paediatric BMT Physician, Apollo Cancer Centres, Navi Mumbai, said, “At Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai, we have a dedicated paediatric BMT unit and ICU with a multidisciplinary team including paediatric oncologists, cardiologists, and nurses. Before undertaking a paediatric BMT, we examine the child’s heart, kidneys, lungs, ears, and teeth to identify any health issues and make sure that the child is in the best possible health. Due to the intense conditioning required prior to BMT and slow post-transplant immune recovery, the patients are also prone to develop infections and other serious complications. But the early detection of infectious diseases through blood culture or multiplex PCR as well as well-trained staff enable us to deliver the best possible treatment outcomes.”
Dr. Purvi Kutty, Paediatric Haematology & Oncology, Apollo Cancer Centres, Navi Mumbai, said “One of the paediatric patients, a 7-year-old girl from Mauritius had a history of repeated blood transfusions after being diagnosed with a life-threatening inherited bone marrow failure syndrome. She was referred to Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai where genetic screening confirmed that she had Fanconi anaemia, a rare genetic disorder and the most common cause of inherited bone marrow failure. Upon bone marrow matching examination, her elder brother was found to be a perfect match with 12/12 HLA match and became the stem cell donor. Post-BMT, she required multiple blood transfusions but due to the untiring efforts of the BMT team and blood bank support at the hospital, the girl sailed through to a stable state. She returned home 6 months later and celebrated her birthday with her loved ones.”
Mr. Santosh Marathe, Regional CEO – Western Region, Apollo Hospitals, also expressed his satisfaction with the hospital's accomplishment, “Apollo Hospitals Navi Mumbai remains at the forefront of advanced patient care. Bone marrow transplantation offers hope and improved quality of life to patients suffering from haematological disorders. The success of our BMT program is a testament to the skill, dedication, and determination of our expert team of healthcare specialists. We are committed to providing world-class care to our patients and will continue to strive for even better outcomes in the future. The hospital's state-of-the-art facilities, expert staff, and commitment to patient care and safety ensure it remains a leading healthcare provider in the region.