Odisha’s first Haplo-BMT conducted in State-run SCB Medical College Hospital, Cuttack

As part of a pioneering effort Odisha government, the expensive BMT is offered free of cost under Universal Free Health Care services 

Updated - January 09, 2024 08:30 pm IST

Published - January 09, 2024 08:02 pm IST - BHUBANESWAR

A screenshot of SCB Medical College Hospital, Cuttack. This photo is taken from the website.

A screenshot of SCB Medical College Hospital, Cuttack. This photo is taken from the website.

Doctors have performed the first haploidentical transplant at the Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) unit of SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack where State government offers BMT free of cost for both cancerous and blood diseases. 

Haplo-BMT is a revolutionary life-saving procedure as it enables transplant from half-matched donors. Parents, children and other relatives like uncles, cousins and aunts, who would half-match, can become donors by this procedure. 

According to doctors, Human Leucocytic Antigen (HLA) matching is mandatory for successful Allogenic BMT. Earlier 90-100% HLA matching from sibling donor (brother or sister) was accepted for Allogenic BMT with very high success rate (60-70%). Rejection of donor was high in the Allogenic BMT due to stem cell mismatch. 

“Chance of such HLA matching with unrelated donor was a possibility but very rare. Even if it is available from the marrow registry, it was expensive (₹10 to 30 lakhs). Finding of suitable HLA match from bone marrow registry was beyond the reach of common man,” Professor R.K. Jena, head of BMT unit at SCB Medical College, said. 

Professor Jena said non-availability of suitable HLA match donor was a significant limiting factor for maximum patients to avail this curative BMT procedure. 

In the present Haplo-BMT case, the patient was diagnosed as a case of B-ALL (one type of blood cancer) in August 2016. He received chemotherapy protocol which was completed in August 2019 in Clinical Haematology Department. Unfortunately, the blood cancer relapsed in 2021 with features of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. 

The patient insisted undergoing this risky BMT. After cardiology and pulmonary clearance Haplo-All BMT was planned with the consent of both patient and guardian. 

Prof. Jena, who has vast experience of performing BMT, said, “This type of Allo BMT is complex and expensive. The cost varies from ₹40-50 lakhs outside Odisha. The first such Haplo BMT has been taken up successfully in Odisha for the first time in this patient of B-ALL.“ 

“This procedure has been provided completely free with support of State government under Universal Free Health Care services,” he said, adding that in Haplo-BMT, every cancer patient will be eligible to find 50% HLA match donor (brother, sister, cousin, father, and mother).  

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