The pushing back of stem cells of a blood cancer patient started today at the country’s first bone marrow transplantation facility at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH).
“We have to wait for two to three weeks to know its success,” Prof MA Khan, head of the unit, said at a press conference at the DMCH.
Without disclosing the name of the 52-year-old patient, Khan said he had been suffering from multiple myeloma (one type of blood cancer).
He underwent autologous stem cell transplant. In this process, patient’s own stem cells are used while allogeneic transplant is the process when stem cells of another person are used. The cell had been collected last October.
On October 20 last year, the DMCH launched the country’s first bone marrow/stem cell transplant facility.
Situated on the 9th floor of the DMCH-2, the technologically sophisticated unit will be able to bring down transplant costs to about Tk 5 lakh, whereas it takes about Tk 10-12 lakh in neighbouring India.
Depending on the state of the patient, bone marrow transplants may cost nearly Tk 1 crore in the US and Singapore.
The unit was set up with the technical support of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), United States.
During the last one year, MGH provided the education and training to physicians, technologists and nurses of the highly specialised and technology-dependent medical facility.
The unit has five sterilised cabins where the transplants would take place. Patients usually need to spend several weeks in the cabins after the transplantation takes place, doctors said.