Monday, May 23, 2011

A new chapter by CMC Ludhiana

Now Stem Cell Cryopreservation & Transplant in CMC
First center in Punjab to have this facility
Stem cell harvest
Ludhiana: 19 year old boy (Mr AKW) was diagnosed to have acute myeloid leukemia (a type of blood cancer) which required stem cell transplant for curing the disease. As he was the only son and parents were not HLA (Human Leukocyte Antigen) identical, (HLA matching is important when bone marrow stem cell transplants are done between 2 individuals), it was decided to perform autologous stem cell transplant.' 
However, as there is a delay between the chemotherapy and stem cell infusion, it was important to freeze these stem cells under special facility.  So after the initial chemotherapy, Mr AKW’s stem cells were collected by a stem cell apharesis machine and they were cryopreserved (a process by which stem cells are mixed with a chemical called DMSO and frozen at minus 80 degree celcius) under strict aseptic conditions. 
Stem cells and the cryoprotecant
These stem cells were later infused after many days into the patient.  Now patient has completed 4 months after the procedure and doing well.  Since then stem cells have been collected and stored in a patient with relapsed lymphoma. 
When doing stem cell cryopreservation, it is important to follow strict protocols in preventing infection and to maintian the stem cell viability. 
Stem cell cryopreservation and autologous stem cell transplant is basically offered to patients with relapsed lymphoma and certain patients with acute myeloid leukemia.  
CMC Ludhiana established its transplant programme in October 2008 and since then the team has performed 20 transplants (15 allogeneic and 5 autologous) for patients with 1 ½ years to 62 years.  The spectrum of diseases for which transplants have been done were thalassaemia, aplastic anemia, multiple myeloma, Philadephia positive ALL, Acute myeloid leukemia, CML in blast crisis and Wiskott Aldrich syndrome). 
The team who infused the stem cells
A comprehensive team of doctors, nurses, physician assistants and office staff are behind this endeavor and CMC Ludhiana is one of the centers taking part in the CIBMTR (Center of International Blood and Marrow Transplant Registry) apart from the ISCTR (Indian Stem Cell Transplant Registry). 
Stem cells with the
cryoprotectant before
dump freezing-Copy
Giving more information regarding this, Dr M Joseph John, head of Clinical Haematology, Haemato-Oncology & Bone Marrow (Stem cell) Transplant Unit, Christian Medical College, Ludhiana said that it is the first time this facility is established in Punjab and North of Delhi.  Dr Abraham G Thomas, Director added that with a new 5 bedded ‘state of the art’ transplant unit coming up, the team is would be able to perform more transplants with improved facility. He also added that in future, the team would be venturing into matched unrelated and cord blood transplantation.  
Dr M Joseph John, MD, DM
Associate Professor, Clinical Haematology, Haemato-Oncology & Bone Marrow Transplant Unit
Christian Medical College
(M): 08054959525, (O): Direct: 0161-5037957 or 0161-2600270 Ext 4823/5022

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