JIPMER carries out its first ‘matched unrelated donor’ bone marrow transplant

Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER) has carried out its first ‘matched unrelated donor’ (MUD) bone marrow transplantation.

JIPMER has performed 100 bone morrow transplantations in six years which is another milestone for the institute. The first autologous (using the patient’s own bone marrow) transplant was performed in the institute’s Bone Marrow Transplant Unit on a lymphoma patient in 2013. Since then, the unit has performed 84 autologous transplants and 16 allogenic (using another person’s bone marrow) transplants. The unit has three beds and all necessary facilities for sterile chemotherapy and a deep freezer (minus 80 degrees Celsius) for stem cell storage. The institute has proposed to expand the unit to an eight-bed facility along with other supportive services. To commemorate their success and share their experiences, a meeting was organized by the unit.

Usually patients’ sibling or family member whose human leukocyte antigens match their antigens serves as the bone marrow donor. However, in case a patient does not have suitable family members to serve as donors, the surgeons would refer National Marrow Donor Program (NMPD) to identify the donor unrelated to the patient but whose human leukocyte antigens (HLA) match with that of the patient. The surgeons transplant the bone marrow of the donor unrelated to the patient on the patient after ascertaining that their HLAs match. This procedure is referred as matched unrelated donor bone marrow transplantation. NMPD includes several lakh registered bone marrow donors.

Bone marrow transplant consists of chemotherapy followed by stem cell infusion. It is a team work exercise requiring support and coordination from various departments such as clinical hematology, radiotherapy, microbiology, pathology, immunology, pharmacology, and transfusion medicine.

At any given time, the institute has around 15-20 patients on the bone marrow transplant waiting list. Various government-sponsored health schemes and NGOs arrange for these transplants.


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