Courtesy by: indiatimes.com
AHMEDABAD : After success of the first umbilical cord blood stem cell transplant on one-and-a-half-year-old Rishi Bhanushali, who
completed a year after the operation, experts have reiterated the need for having public cord blood banking so that more children suffering from thalassemia major and blood cancer can be helped.
“If cord blood of one lakh children is stored in a public bank and Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) typing done, almost every child suffering from thalassemia and blood cancer will be able to find a match for a bone marrow transplant,” said Dr Sandeep Shah, director of bone marrow transplant at Vedanta Hospital. Currently, umbilical cord blood cells are banked by private banks wherein parents pay annual charges for storage of stem cells.
“If there are more public banks where HLA typing has been done, patients will be able to find a match easily and get better results as umbilical cord blood stem cells show better tendency to grow into normal cells,” said Dr Shah.
These cord blood cells will be beneficial to patients who do not have siblings. “Rishi is the first child of his parents and did not have siblings to donate bone marrow. He was lucky to have found a six by six match from umbilical cord-blood samples donated in the public bank by Reliance Life Sciences,” said Dr Shah.
The initial 60 days are important as there could be Graft-Versus-Host Disease (GVHD) complications. “Rishi, however, has shown good results which is a promising development for thousands of thalassemic patients in Gujarat,” he adds.
Rishi’s grandfather Bhimji Bhanushali said that while Rishi is doing extremely well, they are waiting for another year to put him in a play school.