First Emirati patient undergoes bone marrow transplant through Abu Dhabi Stem Cells Centre


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Dubai: In an innovative first, the Abu Dhabi Stem Cells Centre (ADSSC) has conducted a bone marrow transplant for its first Emirati patient.

This surgery which was done in collobaroation with the Shaikh Khalifa Medical City through the Abu Dhabi Bone Marrow Transplant programme (AD-BMT) has had good results and the patient is reported to be recovering well at home.

Bone marrow transplant

The AD-BMT programme was established by ADSCC in August 2020 and has been treating patients since its inception in collaboration with Sheikh Khalifa Medical City. The AD-BMT programme relies on stem cell therapy to treat patients with haematological and oncological illnesses, including bone marrow transplantation, which is an established stem cell-based treatment for a number of blood malignancies. These include multiple myeloma, plasma cell leukaemia, large diffuse B-cell lymphoma, and Hodgkin lymphoma, as well as autoimmune diseases and benign haematological conditions such as thalassaemia, among others.

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8 bone marrow transplants in one year

In less than a year, eight patients with different types of blood malignancies have been treated. Abdel Rahman Al Jaberi, the eighth patient in question, said: “I wasn’t aware that stem cell therapy was available in the UAE, but I’m grateful to God and to our leader, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed, for supporting the centre so that I don’t have to travel and can recover at home in Abu Dhabi among my family members.”

“With COVID-19, there’s a risk from travel and the time demands of quarantine. Thankfully, I don’t have to worry about that. With my family and friends standing by me, I feel a much-needed dose of positive energy to continue with the treatment. Thank God for that,” he added.

New frontiers being covered in immunology

Dr Fatema Al Kaabi, Executive Director of the AD-BMT programme and lead physician during Al Jaberi’s treatment, said: “We are almost 50 years old as a country and are treating cancer patients using an internationally approved treatment method with curative intentions. We are aiming to incorporate smart immunotherapies and cell engineering methodologies to fight cancers in the UAE and the region.”

Dr Yendry Ventura, Specialist in Immunology and General Manager of ADSCC, said, “As immunologists, we strive to identify innovative methods to treat conditions that are known to be challenging to cure. Using stem cell therapy in the form of bone marrow transplants is one of the most well-known and established methods to treat various conditions of blood malignancies.”

About Abu Dhabi Stem Cell Centre

ADSCC was founded with the primary objective of meeting growing domestic and regional demand for advanced medical services and the most innovative treatments in the UAE. ADSCC is committed to ensuring the Abu Dhabi Bone Marrow Transplant program meets the highest standards of quality and patient satisfaction at every step in the process, including treatment, aftercare, and follow-up for clinical BMT personnel, patients, and their families.

What is Bone Marrow transplant?

A bone marrow or stem cell transplant is a medical procedure by which healthy stem cells are transplanted into the diseased bone marrow of a patient suffering from specific blood cancers. This restores the body’s ability to create red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets it needs.

A bone-marrow transplant can be carried out through the patient’s own stem cells (autologous stem cell transplant) or through a donor (allogeneic transplant). In case of a allogeneic transplant, the donor and the recipient have to have a tissue match. The procedure is also called a hematopoietic stem cell transplant. Transplantation can be used to treat certain types of cancer, such as leukaemia, myeloma, and lymphoma, and other blood and immune system diseases that affect the bone marrow.


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