Woman With Blood Cancer Successfully Treated Through SCT At SUM Hospital In Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: Doctors of the Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital in Bhubaneswar have successfully treated a woman suffering from multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer, through Stem Cell Transplantation (SCT).

The 52-year-old patient had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma about 18 months ago following which she was under chemotherapy in another private hospital where she was referred to IMS and SUM Hospital for SCT. She was treated with a different regimen as she had not responded favourably to the earlier one prior to undergoing SCT, said Dr Priyanka Samal, Head of the Department of Hematology, on Friday.

“The doctors had to be extra careful as she had been diagnosed with kidney failure when the disease was first detected in her. This was because the patient had to undergo high dose chemotherapy prior to SCT. We took all necessary precautions to ensure that the delicate procedure could be taken up after obtaining the patient’s best response to the therapy and with optimal control of all co-morbidities,” she said.

A multidisciplinary approach was followed with the Department of Hematology and Department of Transfusion Medicine joining hands. After other departments gave the clearance for undertaking SCT, the patient underwent the procedure with BSKY support. All the parameters post-SCT were good and the patient was discharged in a stable condition, Dr Samal said.

Explaining the SCT procedure, also known as bone marrow transplantation, she said when the patient was found to be either free or with minimal cancer cells, high dose chemotherapy is administered to kill the residual diseased cells as well as the normal cells. Following the high dose chemotherapy, the healthy stem cells are infused as a rescue procedure to further evolve into normal blood cells.

In this case, the cells were harvested from the patient’s own body, preserved and then reintroduced into her bone marrow. The process comprising harvesting, preservation and administration into the body of the patient was conducted by the hospital’s Department of Transfusion Medicine.

“It is a difficult procedure which is conducted with much care and involvement of multiple departments. Our hospital has all necessary facilities to undertake the same,” said Girijanandini Kanungo, Head of Department of Transfusion Medicine.

The patient, Snehalata Sahu, said she was fine after six months of the procedure and her condition was being monitored by the doctors on a regular basis. “After I was detected with multiple myeloma, I could not undergo treatment for several months because of the high cost involved. I also lost my husband during the period,” she said.

Her entire treatment, however, was taken up under the state government sponsored Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY) and she didn’t have to pay anything.

Dr Pusparaj Samantasinhar, Medical Superintendent of the hospital and Dr Pritish Chandra Patra, Associate Professor in the Department of Hematology, were present during the news conference.

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