She added, “Certain cancers and other diseases prevent the haematopoietic stem cells from developing normally.
Mumbai: In a first for any Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation-run hospital, two bone-marrow transplants were conducted at the Comprehensive Thalas-semia Care in Borivali. The transplants were carried out for free on a five year old boy from Virar and a 11-year-old girl from Bijapur, with marrow stem cells taken from their respective siblings. In a private hospitals, these transplants would have cost anything between Rs 15 to 25 lakh.
The girl was suffering from Aplastic anemia, while boy was suffering from major thalassemia. He was detected with thalassemia last year and his parents ran from pillars to post for his treatment, but due to the high cost of the transplant in private hospitals, the treatment was delayed.
Dr Mamta Manglani, paediatric haematology specialist, director of the centre, said, “The centre has eight beds for bone marrow transplants and we have selected 15 children to undergo the surgery after matching their blood type.” Explaining the bone marrow transplant, also called a stem cell transplant, she said, “A part of your bones called “bone marrow” manufactures blood cells. Bone marrow is the soft, spongy tissue inside bones, which contains cells called “hematopoietic” stem cells. These cells can turn into several other types of cells. They can turn into more bone marrow cells. Or they can turn into any type of blood cell.”
She added, “Certain cancers and other diseases prevent the haematopoietic stem cells from developing normally. If they are not normal, then the blood cells that they manufacture are also not normal. A stem cell transplant gives you new stem cells. The new stem cells can make new, healthy blood cells and can cure existing ailments.”
Speaking about the procedure, the boy’s father said, “When I approached this centre, I learnt that my daughter’s stem cells can save my son’s life. So my nine-year-old daughter donated bone marrow fluid.”