Over 94% success in autologous stem cell transplantation: Royal Hospital

Muscat: The Bone Marrow Transplantation unit at the Royal Hospital (RH) has witnessed a remarkable increase in the number of autologous stem cell transplant operations carried out in the hospital in recent years, with a success rate exceeding 94%, according to the latest (RH) statistics.

The statistics showed that since the launch of this service on 18 November 2013 until the present time, the hospital carried out 52 endogenous stem cell transplantation operations.

The launching of bone marrow transplantation at the Royal Hospital comes with the aim of upgrading the specialized care in the Sultanate especially in the field of blood diseases as well as coping with the increase in the number of patients who need autologous stem cell transplantation due to the growth of population and following unhealthy lifestyle and diet patterns.

It is worth mentioning that the health staff of the stem cell transplantation unit,  that consists of doctors, technicians, laboratory specialists and the team of stem cell and nursing staff, are 100% Omani national cadres. The staff underwent qualification and training in this field at specialized international and regional centers and organizations before the actual launch of stem cells transplantation at the Royal Hospital in late 2013.

Such operations are performed often in RH for patients with lymphoma and multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer.

The process of stem cell transplantation is conducted by taking laboratory and preliminary examinations to determine the patient’s safety and to verify the possibility of performing the stem cell transplantation.  Then the healthy stem cells are collected intravenously by a special device and stored in containers at a temperature below zero Celsius. The intensive chemotherapy phase of the patient comes in order to eliminate damaged or harmful blood cells as well as to create a suitable area for the cultured stem cells. Finally, the stem cells are transferred to the patient by intravenous catheterization.

The hospital’s autologous stem cell transplantation unit consists of a blood laboratory, a blood culture laboratory, a laboratory for cell analysis and enumeration, a laboratory for cell processing, a laboratory for cell freezing and storage, and admission rooms.