Odisha’s first haploidentical stem cell transplantation brings hope to AML patients

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The team of doctors and health staff of SUMUM that conducted Odisha’s first haploidentical stem cell transplantation.

Bhubaneswar: In a pioneering feat for healthcare in Odisha, the Department of Clinical Hematology at the Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital here has achieved a milestone by successfully performing a Haploidentical Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT) on a female patient diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).

Dr Priyanka Samal, professor and head of the department of Clinical Hematology, explained that Haploidentical transplant involves harvesting healthy blood-forming cells from a half-matched donor, in this case, the patient’s daughter, whose Human Leukocyte Antigens (HLA) matched half of her mother’s. Despite initial complications post-transplantation, the patient’s condition was managed effectively.

Also read: SUMUM gets JCI Prime Certification for patient safety excellence

This groundbreaking procedure, conducted at a reasonable cost, is the first of its kind in the state. Dr Samal, who underwent specialised training at the Princess Margaret Cancer Center in Toronto, emphasised the significance of this achievement in reducing mortality rates and improving patient outcomes.

While acknowledging the risks associated with complications such as Graft-versus-host disease (GvHD), Dr Samal expressed optimism as the patient successfully crossed the critical 45-day post-transplantation period. Haploidentical HSCT offers a nearly 100 per cent chance of finding a 50 percent matched healthy donor, unlike the limited options with fully matched sibling donors.

Prof (Dr) Pusparaj Samantasinhar, medical superintendent, highlighted the hospital’s commitment to providing advanced treatments at affordable rates, with a significant portion of stem cell transplantations being conducted under the Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY).

With approximately 50 Stem Cell Transplantations already performed, including Autologous and Allogenic procedures, this successful Haploidentical HSCT marks a significant advancement in the hospital’s capabilities. Dr Samal stressed the importance of raising awareness about stem cell donation, likening it to blood donation, and emphasised its potential to save lives and treat critical illnesses effectively.

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