A Kolkata-based cancer research institute claimed on Friday that it had carried out the country's first successful mixed stem cell transplant on a five-year-old boy suffering from HbE-Beta Thalassemia. A mixture of cord blood and bone marrow cells collected from the boy's younger sister was transplanted to his body, it said.
The feat assumes greater significance in the light of the fact that the transplant could be successfully done even as the blood groups of the siblings were dissimilar, according to researchers at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Cancer Research Institute and stem-cell bank CordLife.
In 2006, Moinam Pal was barely seven months old when his parents noticed him growing paler by the day and took him to a paediatrician, who diagnosed him with HbE-Beta Thalassemia.
“We were told that it is an inherited blood disorder that results in excessive destruction of red blood cells and causes anaemia. While Moinam had to undergo regular blood transfusions and medication to keep his red blood cell count at a normal level, our frantic search for an institute that could perform stem-cell transplantation took us to NSCB Cancer Research Institute,” Moinam's father Ashim Kumar Pal said at a press conference.