CUTTACK: The Haematology department of SCB Medical College and Hospital here achieved another milestone on Thursday with successful 75th bone marrow transplant (BMT) surgery.
The special BMT unit, started in February 2014, has conducted its 75th procedure on Rajesh Agarwal, a 55-year-old patient from Bhitiriasahi in Debagarh district.
Head of the department Prof Rabindra Kumar Jena said SCBMCH is the only state-run hospital in the country to complete 75 cases and provide BMT services completely free of cost to patients suffering from Multiple Myeloma (MM), a type of blood cancer.
“We have a great record of survival rate of patients than any other hospital elsewhere in the country. Of the 75 procedures conducted so far, 70 patients are healthy and carrying out their normal activities well. While two succumbed due to relapse of the disease, three others died due to wrong follow in treatment,” he said.
The first patient to undergo BMT was a 60-year-old woman, Sakuntala Sahoo of Kendrapara. “I had undergone the surgery on April 23, 2014 free of cost and now I am availing regular check up and doing well,” she said.
The BMT unit at SCBMCH has also notched up national and international distinctions by conducting BMT on five elderly persons above the age of 65.
The credit of conducting transplant on eldest person in Asia and Europe region belongs to the unit, claimed Dr Jena.
Hospital authorities claimed that the oldest person to undergo bone marrow transplant in the country is 74-year-old Zabar Khan who was operated in 2015 at SCBMCH and he is doing fine.
Unlike in USA where BMT is conducted on patients up to 75 years in some selected cases only. The procedure adopted for BMT on elderly persons at SCBMCH has been published in Indian Cancer Journal and is followed by other BMT units.
Similarly, procedure adopted for stem cell collection will be published in a Brazilian Journal of Haematology.
The BMT unit was shut down from November 2017 to April 2019 when it re-opened with the 55th BMT. From April last year till now, as many as 20 BMT cases have been performed.
The free of cost treatment at SCBMCH has come as a boon for patients as treatment in a private facility would cost around Rs 10 lakh which many would not be able to afford.
The BMT wing conducts autologous (transplant with stem cells from the patient) transplant and plans to start allogenic (transplant with stem cells from the matched donor) and Haplo BMT transplantation soon.
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