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Chennai Hospital Conducts Bone Marrow Transplantation Successfully

Howard is now eager to return home and rejoin the rest of the family in Kampala.

"Now I can go back home and play with my brother. That is something I miss here," Howard said with a broad grin.

The success of this case means that patients needing blood and bone marrow transplants from unrelated donors have a new hope and a new destination for the cure.

It is the first time that an unrelated transplant of stem cells and bone marrow for patients with advanced leukaemia and bone marrow failure has been done in India. A host of reasons contributed to the delay in the procedure being made available in the country.

Jose Easow, the senior consultant for medical oncology-haematology at the Apollo Hospital, said that high-resolution special blood tests for matching human antigen leukocytes between donor and recipient - called HLA typing - was absent in India.

"On that count it was risky to go ahead with a stem cell transplant from an unrelated donor on the basis of a low-resolution HLA typing report. It was a gamble because we knew that there was only a 30 percent chance of locating a compatible family donor whose stem cells could be used for treating some advanced conditions. Now, it is no longer necessary to go abroad for such treatment," Easow said.


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