Apollo Hospitals achieves record in bone marrow transplants

CHENNAI, June 23 – Apollo Hospitals Chennai celebrated a unique milestone of successfully conducting 1,500 Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) procedures on national and international patients at Apollo Hospitals in India.
Out of the total number of procedures performed, 65 per cent were paediatric cases. Patients from over 45 countries, including the Sultanate, UAE, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Bangladesh and Tanzania, underwent the procedure.
To mark the occasion, survivors from India and other countries came to participate in an event held in Chennai.
Treated children celebrated life while the seniors shared their experiences echoing the need for voluntary donation of peripheral stem cells and to be enlisted in available registries.
Medical advances have proven there are over 40 conditions that can be treated through BMT.
“Sometimes children have complete lack of blood production, which is a serious blood disorder called Aplastic Anaemia. At times, they cannot produce red blood cells, which is called Thalassemia or Sickle Cell Anaemia or blood cancer/leukemia which cannot be treated with chemotherapy. Medical advances can now help us in treating many children with these disorders with blood stem cells transplants,” said Dr Revathi Raj, Head of Paediatric Bone Marrow Transplant programme of Apollo Hospitals and also a visiting consultant at Apollo Muscat.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Prathap C Reddy, Executive Chairman of Apollo Hospitals Group, said, “Cancer is conquerable. The important factor is ‘when’ the cancer is detected. That is why early diagnosis is important.”
“Though we have come a long way from the first successful BMT at Apollo in 1995, there are many more patients who are in need of BMT. It is extremely important that people come forward for bone marrow donation and help save more lives.”
V T Saileswaran, Managing Director of Apollo Muscat, while congratulating the Chairman Dr Reddy on the landmark clinical milestone of completing 1,500 BMT procedures, stated that Dr Revathy Raj had been making a difference in managing the Thalassemia Clinic in Apollo Muscat and this would be a regular visiting consultant clinic from August.
While Apollo Hospitals Chennai was the first hospital to conduct India’s first cord blood transplant and unrelated transplant, the hospital is all set to be the largest cancer centre in Asia with the soon-to-be-inaugurated ‘Proton Beam Therapy Unit’.
“The three-room proton unit we are establishing with a pencil beam will give the most accurate treatment for all the difficult forms of cancer. Proton differs from other radiation treatment. In the usual radiation treatment, you can strike the tumour but along with it also the surrounding tissues, whereas in proton the pencil beam goes and locks with the tumour precisely and kills the tumour cells. So it is a tremendous technology and the accuracy of the pencil beam is going to make a big difference,” said Dr Prathap Reddy told the Observer.
He said this centre will be able to serve the people at a much affordable price than the proton centres in the west.

Lakshmi Kothaneth