In the first of Vidarbha region, a 68-year-old gentleman from Botswana (Africa) with multiple myeloma underwent autologous bone marrow transplantation at the Wockhardt Hospitals, Nagpur. The treatment was done by Dr. Gunjan Loney and Dr. Vishvdeep Khushoo, Consultants-Haemato-Oncology and BMT.
The patient was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in 2020 and treated with chemotherapy followed by maintenance therapy at a local hospital in Botswana. He was then offered Bone Marrow Transplant. In view of no expertise in his country, he decided to get transplanted in India.
He was also diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the left buccal mucosa in 2007. He had undergone surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy in Botswana.
With the disease in control, autologous bone marrow transplantation was done in the Wockhardt BMT unit. “The patient was given a high dose of chemotherapy which wiped out his normal marrow cells and residual microscopic cancer cells. Infusing his own stem cells helped in the cure,” said Dr. Gunjan. He recovered within 12 days of the transplant.
The challenges we thought we would have faced were because of his previous chemotherapy-treated oral cancer and old age. However, it was quite a smooth journey through the transplant process.
Bone Marrow Transplantation is a curative treatment for many blood disorders, including myeloma, lymphoma, leukemia, aplastic anemia, thalassemia, and sickle cell anemia.
A team effort is required to take care of the patient in a germ-free environment where he/she would undergo conditioning chemotherapy followed by stem cell infusion. In the next 10 to 14 days, the patient would be severely immunosuppressed with extremely low blood counts making him or her susceptible to severe infections and bleeding.
Patients with cancer are supported with chemo ports or peripherally inserted central catheter(PICC) lines to receive painless therapy. With adequate supportive care, most patients undergo transplantation successfully resulting in the cure of such life-threatening diseases.
Doctors also thanked the nursing staff, resident doctors, the Transfusion team, the Laboratory team, and the Hospital team including all other supportive departments for their immense support.
Dr. Gunjan Loney
Consultant – Haemato-Oncology
Wockhardt Hospitals, Nagpur
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