1st Time In Odisha: SUM Hospital Performs Stem Cell Transplant On Lymphoma Patient

Bhubaneswar: For the first time in Odisha, Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital, faculty of medicine of SOA Deemed to be University, here, has successfully undertaken autologous stem cell transplantation on a lymphoma patient.

The challenging procedure, often referred to as Bone Marrow Transplantation (BMT), was taken up on a 33-year-old patient suffering from lymphoma, a type of blood cancer, recently by following the cryopreservation process, Prof Priyanka Samal, Professor and Head of the department of Clinical Hematology and Hemato Oncology in the hospital, told media persons on Monday.

The hospital has conducted STC on 25 patients with hematological malignancies like myeloma and leukemia in the last 18 months. Though the procedure was being done in the hospital since 2018, it was for the first time that STC was attempted on a lymphoma patient, she said.

Explaining the procedure, Prof Samal said STC requires no surgery. “Stem cells are predominantly present in the bone marrow constantly dividing and maturing into various types of blood cells replacing the old and worn out cells in the body. Serious health problems like blood cancer arise when the function of stem cells goes awry,” she said.

“Presently, we have drugs which mobilise these cells from the bone marrow to the peripheral blood and the process is called stem cell mobilisation. These healthy stem cells are collected from the donor or the patient following mobilisation,” she added.

Then high dose chemotherapy is administered to the patient to destroy the existing bone marrow cells and create space for receiving the stem cells and accommodating its differentiated healthy mature cells. After five to ten days of intensive chemotherapy, stem cells collected from the donor are infused into the patient. When the patient’s own harvested stem cells are infused, it is known as autologous stem cell transplantation while in allogeneic transplantation, stem cells are received from a donor, she said.

Prof Girija Nandini Kanungo, Head of the department of Transfusion Medicine, said the preservation of stem cells by using the cryopreservation process required extraordinary effort and quality control to ensure success of the transplantation process.

Prof Pusparaj Samantasinhar, Medical Superintendent of the hospital, said the departments of Transfusion Medicine, Lab Hematology, Microbiology and ICU were involved in conduct of stem cell transplantation. The hospital was trying to extend cutting edge treatment to the people of the state at an affordable cost, he addd.

Dr Santosh Kumar Singh, in-charge of Hematology ICU said the nursing staff and paramedics played a crucial role in ensuring success of the treatment with maintenance of strict asepsis, as it was a prolonged process with very low blood cell counts.

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