KOCHI: Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS) has successfully performed the first Haplo Identical or Half Matched Stem Cell Transplantation in the state. The transplant was done on a 59-year-old patient, hailing from Thiruvananthapuram, who was suffering from relapsed Myelodysplastic Syndrome transformed into Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. The donor was his 25-year-old son.
As the patient was not responding to conventional treatment, the only available option to save his life was to go for stem cell transplantation. When the search for a complete Human Leucocyte Antigen (HLA) match also failed, Half Matched Stem Cell Transplantation had to be attempted.
Generally complete HLA match is preferred for stem cell transplantation. But to get such a match is extremely difficult. The possibility of getting such a match even within the family is only 25 per cent. In such cases, Haplo Identical Stem Cell Transplantation assumes significance. When compared to the full match transplantation, Haplo Identical transplantation is more complex, expensive and also demands great care to perform.
Half matched transplantation is very rarely done in India. A year ago, the first successful Allogenic Peripheral Blood Stem Cell (Bone Marrow) Transplantation with complete HLA match was performed at AIMS. This was also the first ever marrow transplant performed in the private healthcare sector of the state. So far the department has performed over 20 such transplantations. The transplantation was done by a team under the leadership of Dr Neeraj Sidharthan, which comprised of experts from Haematology, Medical Oncology, Transfusion medicine and other allied specialities.