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Leukemia patient in Kerala saved by German donor

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Kochi | Sunday, May 31 2015 IST
One of the rarest transnational stem cell donation cases in Kerala, a 16-year-old girl from Kozhikode, who was suffering from an advanced stage of Leukemia has got a new lease of life, thanks to a 55-year-old German national, who donated stem cells to her. ''The girl, referred to the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre here from Kozhikode, was in an advanced stage of Leukemia and on examination by the doctors it was confirmed that only the solution to save her life was to stem cells transfusion,'' Dr Neeraj Sidharthan, head of stem cell transplant of AIMS, told UNI.

In normal case the stem cells were used to harvest from her siblings or parents. However, since their cells were not matching to girl, the doctors forced to find a matching donor through Dhathri Donar Registry in India. But the bad luck haunted the girl again, as none of the donor from over one lakh registered with Dhathri was matching to her, Dr Sidharthan said, adding that as it was failed, the hospital authorities had to contact with a German Donor Registry, with whom the Hospital had tie-up.

And finally the life flew from Germany as the international registry, DKMS, succeeded in finding a donor, surprisingly the one and only donor with 100 per cent match to the girls stem, he said.

As soon as the news was received that the DKMS found the donor, the girl was admitted to the hospital on March 5 for stem transfusion. They started pre-transplant tests and administration of chemotherapeutic drugs to prevent side effects since the stem cells were to come from an international donor of the opposite sex, he said, adding that with Human Leukocyte Antigen test, it was found all the 10 criteria were the same that of the girl's cell.

At the same time, the healthy cells were harvested from the donor and airlifted from Dusseldorf to Cologne in Germany via Abu Dhabi and it reached AIIMS in 24 hours, he said, adding that on preliminary test it was found the stems were active even after it was removed 24 hours earlier and came through a long journey, and transfused successfully on March 6.

The girl was discharged after successful transfusion of cells and she was doing well, Dr Sidharthan said, adding that she will continues with the medicine for six months and after that the medical team will take an appropriate decision to continue medication or not. ''After discharging her, we had tested her blood four times, and it was found 100 per cent of cells in her blood were of the donor and she is doing well and healthy,'' he added.

This was the fourth case of cell transfusion in AIMS, but three of the donors were within the country, he said.

The International donor registry DKMS had charged Rs seven lakh for finding the donor, harvesting it and transport to the hospital, he said. UNI CGV AJ RSA 2312

-- (UNI) -- C-1-1-DL0109-155247.Xml

 
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