(MENAFN- The Peninsula) fazeena saleem |
Doha: The Blood and Marrow Transplant Programme at the National Center for Cancer Care and Research(NCCCR) of Hamad Medical Corporation has expanded its services over the years and saved lives of many patients.
The very advanced Blood and Marrow Stem Cell Transplant Programme (BMT Programme) at NCCCR has showed significant outcomes in patient care, a senior physician at NCCCR has said.
BMT Programme at NCCCR is the only Adult Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Programme in Qatar and it aims to provide comprehensive, compassionate care while advancing the field of hematopoietic cell transplantation and improving patient outcomes.
“Interdisciplinary expert teams of transplant physicians, transplant nurses, transfusion medicine, laboratory medicine and stem cell processing laboratory have invested years of developmental work to finally establish this cutting-edge Blood and Marrow Stem Cell Transplant Program,” Senior Consultant and Chairman of Hematology and BMT Department at NCCCR Dr. Javid Gaziev said.
“Many years of specialized transplant expertise is required for these advanced therapies. A total of 178 transplants with excellent outcomes is a significant achievement since the start of the Programme, which stands up to other stem cell transplant centers across the world,” he added.
A BMT is a highly effective therapy and often the only hope for a cure or for a longer life for patients with blood cancers. It's a procedure to replace disordered bone marrow with healthy bone marrow stem cells. It is used to eliminate cancerous or defective stem cells and restore a patient's blood and immune systems.
In the latest edition of NCCCR's newsletter 'News & Views', Dr. Gaziev has highlighted that the BMT program's successful services have saved hundreds of lives.
“Since the first autologous transplantation performed in late 2015, and the first allogeneic transplantation in December 2017, our Program has successfully performed 55 allogeneic and 123 autologous blood stem cell transplants,” said Dr. Gaziev.
He has emphasized that allogeneic stem cell transplantation is a highly specialized treatment and one of the great advances in care at NCCCR and HMC, as mandated by the National Cancer Strategy since 2011.
“Unlike autologous transplants, in which cells are harvested from the patient themselves and the healthy stem cells are collected from the patients' blood through a special mobilization process and equipment, allogeneic stem cell transplants involve the transfer of stem cells from a healthy donor following chemotherapy, radiation or both together. Genetically matched siblings are preferred donors for transplantation. Unfortunately, less than 30% of patients can have such a donor,” said Dr. Gaziev.
“Currently, for patients who need urgent transplantation, but have no matched related or unrelated donors, haploidentical (half-matched) transplantation can be done. We started haploidentical stem cell transplants at NCCCR in January 2020, and we have treated 17 patients up to now with very good results,” he added.
According to Dr. Gaziev, transplant patients underwent a specific conditioning regimen including intensive treatment with chemotherapy alone or in combination with radiation therapy, to destroy as many disordered cells as possible. They also went through a systematic evaluation to determine their eligibility to receive a stem cell transplant and were fully prepared for the procedures.“Our Cell Therapy Laboratory has advanced high-quality equipment and performs various stem cell graft manipulations, which are a necessary part of stem cell transplantation,” he said.
Dr. Gaziev also explained that after the transplant procedure the hematology oncology team must collaborate to reduce the risk of complications and address patient needs throughout the stem cell transplant process.“Due to the time this therapy takes to rebuild the immune system following a transplant, doctors have to monitor patients very closely in the months following the transplant to prevent any complications that might occur.”