An interdisciplinary team from Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at the National Center for Cancer Care and Research (NCCCR) successfully performed 53 autologous stem cell transplants since 2015 and 12 allogeneic blood stem cell transplants since 2017.
Dr Javid Gaziev, Head of the Bone Marrow Transplant Programme at NCCCR, said that the success of the transplant programme is an important milestone for HMC and the country. According to him, the programme is comparable with some of the world’s leading programmes, in terms of success rates.
An allogeneic stem cell transplant is a type of bone marrow transplantation (BMT) – often called a stem cell or hematopoietic (meaning ‘blood-forming’) stem cell transplantation – and is the treatment of choice for many blood diseases, both malignant and non-malignant.’
Allogeneic stem cell transplantation involves the transfer of stem cells from a genetically similar healthy person (known as the donor) to a patient (known as the recipient) following high-intensity chemotherapy or radiation. It is used to eliminate cancer and restore the patient’s blood and immune systems.
Each of the 12 allogeneic transplant patients underwent a conditioning regimen that included intensive treatment with chemotherapy, or a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, to destroy as many disordered cells as possible. They also underwent a systematic evaluation to determine their eligibility for the stem cell transplant treatment. Dr Gaziev said the stem cell transplantation is a long and complicated process and that due to the time it takes to rebuild the immune system after a transplant, each patient requires several months of close expert monitoring to help prevent complications.
Bone marrow transplantation is highly specialised medicine and is one of the great advances in care at NCCCR and HMC, as mandated by the National Cancer Strategy since 2011. Interdisciplinary expert teams of transplant physicians, transplant nurses, transfusion medicine, laboratory medicine, and stem cell processing laboratory professionals have invested years of developmental work to establish our cutting-edge blood and marrow stem cell transplant service.
For more information about the NCCCR Transplant Programme at HMC, visit hamad.qa.