A patient with blood cancer received a fresh lease of life after he underwent ‘Bone Marrow Transplant’ (BMT) at a private hospital in the city. The critical patient was diagnosed with relapsed multiple myeloma and thus, he was in a critical state.
Multiple Myeloma is a type of blood cancer that affects plasma cells, which are a type of specialised blood cell that produces antibodies to fight infection. When a patient has multiple myeloma, abnormal plasma cells build up in the bone marrow and impair the production of normal blood cells. Nevertheless it can affect kidneys, bone and other organs of the body impeding normal function.
Chemotherapy was used as the first form of treatment given, and BMT was subsequently done to achieve good control of the disease. A team of specialists led by Dr M Gopinathan, Associate Consultant, Hemato-Oncology (BMT) at MGM Cancer Institute performed the transplant on the patient.
Explaining the procedure, Dr M Gopinathan said, “Bone marrow is a soft, spongy tissue found inside bones, which acts as a reservoir of stem cells. The circulating cells in the blood namely White blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets arise from stem cells. In blood disorders like myeloma, lymphoma, leukaemia, aplastic anaemia, primary immunodeficiency, thalassemia, and sickle cell anaemia, BMT is a curative procedure and can prolong the life span of people.”
He further added, “Considering the complexities involved in this case, we decided to optimise his general health status first, and proceeded with administering a specialised injection for stem cell collection. The patient’s hematopoietic stem cells, which produce blood and immune cells, were collected before chemotherapy and safely stored. This was followed by a high dose of chemotherapy and in the next 24 hours, we infused his hematopoietic stem cells back into the body. Stem cells migrate to the bone marrow, and then start regenerating blood cells in his body. It’s crucial to maintain the patient in a controlled infection-free environment and good nursing care this time. Advancements in stem cell collection techniques, newer antibiotics and supportive care have improved success rates of BMT compared to the past.”
Dr Raja, Director of Oncology Services, MGM Cancer Institute, said, “The patient had multiple complications like neck bone fracture, decreased functioning of kidneys, and dental caries. We managed these problems sequentially to avoid deterioration. Chemotherapy was our first line of defence against the disease, and last month an autologous bone marrow transplant was carried out. The patient was kept in isolation for 14 days because there are very high risks of infection and low levels of immunity in patients. The bone marrow transplant procedure takes two to three weeks, and the patient is kept in strict isolation and supervision. On 5th May 2023, the patient was discharged.”
Link: https://www.dtnext.in/wellbeing/2023/05/18/cancer-patient-undergoes-bone-marrow- transplant-in-chennai