Dr. Rahul

Bone Marrow Transplant: Workshop with Dr. Rahul Bhargava, Haemato-Oncologist and Stem-Cell Transplant Physician

On 12 April 2019, MedTours Global organised a workshop on Bone Marrow Transplant, where renowned Dr. Rahul Bhargava, Haemato-Oncologist and Stem-Cell Transplant Physician from Fortis Hospital, New Delhi had shown his gracious presence at MedTours Global. He is having an experience of more than 15 years. He is known for patient-centric and result oriented in several treatments in the field of Haematology. He holds a degree of MBBS, MD in Medicine and DM in Clinical Haematology from AIIMS which is a reputed medical university of India. His zeal of learning more about haematology took him to pursue post DM fellowship in Leukaemia and Bone Marrow Transplant. Dr. Bhargava is a first stem cell transplant surgeon in India in Multiple Sclerosis. He has performed more than 1000 transplants and is known for the Best Stem Cell Transplant Surgeon in haploidentical transplant cases which is a type of Bone Marrow Transplant. The workshop started with a very simple and most important question, what is Bone Marrow Transplant exactly? According to Dr. Bhargava, Bone marrow is a machine of producing blood cells in our body. It is a tissue from where the white blood cells and red blood cells produced. When the body is lacking with blood cells then it gives birth to different types of cancer in our blood. Our main doubt was; is Bone Marrow Transplant a surgery? Over this he answered, Bone marrow transplant is not a surgery but it’s a simple blood transfusion procedure. As this treatment is given to those patients who are suffering from different types of blood cancer diseases. Most of the blood cancers are called as hematologic cancer which starts from bone marrow only. There are several types of blood cancer which are as follows:
  • Leukaemia: A cancer which originates from blood and bone marrow. It occurs when our body starts producing abnormal white blood cells. This may interfere the process of bone marrow which helps in making red blood cells and platelets in the blood.
  • Lymphoma: The unwanted growth of cells in lymph nodes, spleen, thymus, bone marrow when grow abnormally then it cause Lymphoma.
  • Myeloma: When cancer growth starts in the white blood cells which are found in bone marrow then Myeloma occurs.
  • He further stated that diagnosis is done on prior basis to determine the severity of the disease. Chemotherapy is performed before undergoing treatment. According to Dr. Bhargava, Bone Marrow Transplant is of two types:
  • Autologous transplant: This is performed on the cases with lower age category. People having an age group of 65 years undergo this procedure rarely. In such cases, the bone marrow is taken from the body of the patient only, i.e. the recipient is the only donor. The harvesting of the bone marrow is done from patient’s body from thighs, hips and back.
  • Allogenic transplant: HLA matching (Human Leukocyte Antigen) is done for the donor in case of allogenic bone marrow transplant. It is further classified into three types:
  • Sibling transplant: Also known as Half-match transplant. In such cases, sibling is considered as the good match for the patient. The stay in hospital is for 14-21 days.
  • Matched unrelated transplant: It should not be sibling but parents are considered as the match-unrelated donor for the same.
  • Haploidentical transplant: It is performed at a very severe stage. It is high in costing because of the several cost factors reasons, high immunosuppression and costly medications. The stay in such cases is longer in comparison to other which also affects the costs.
  • Cord Blood transplant: It is done for the patients suffering from leukaemia, lymphoma, or multiple myeloma. It is a very costly procedure and has fewer outcomes. The procedure is considered risky as well in comparison to others.
  • According to Dr. Rahul Bhargava, the major causes of blood cancers are:
  • Ageing
  • Family history
  • Suffering from different infections
  • Weaken immune system
  • Stay in hospital Stay in the hospital depends on different factors which are as follows:
  • Physical examination
  • Diagnosis
  • Type of disease
  • Type of transplant perform
  • Hospital stay
  • Type of hospital
  • Weight of patient
  • Body immunity of patient
  • The specialist like haematologists, oncologists, lab technicians, radiologists, BMT specialist who are involved
  • Laboratory charges
  • Donor cost: Donor of an age-group 1 to 80 years can donate bone marrow transplant.
  • Investigation charges
  • Hospital fees
  • Room charges
  • Recovery expenses
  • Prescribed medications
  • Chemotherapy charges
  • Check-up cost after surgery
  • Post-care transplant treatment
  • Dr. Bhargava also mentioned about the diseases which can be treated by Bone Marrow Transplant are as follows:
  • Acute myeloid Leukaemia
  • Acute lymphoblastic Leukaemia
  • Chronic myeloid Leukaemia
  • Aplastic Anaemia
  • Sickle cell
  • Thalassemia
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Lymphoma
  • Storage disorders
  • After discussing several cases with Dr. Bhargava he mentioned that generally patients gets covered from blood cancers within 3 months but in case if recovery is not done properly because of non-acceptability of body or mismatch then GVHD (Graft versus host disease) will occur post treatment. Though it is one of the most complicated procedures but with precise expertise of best hands it’s a life changing medical procedure.

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