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Dr. Dharma Choudhary

Dr. Dharma Choudhary

Director & Sr. Consultant
BLK Centre for Bone Marrow
Transplant
BLK Super Speciality
Hospital, New Delhi

For A Safer Tomorrow

Thalassemic Patient Successfully Undergoes High
Risk Bone Marrow Transplantation

THE CASE

25-year old Nikhil Berwal from Delhi approached BLK Super Speciality Hospital to find a cure for Thalassemia Major. Nikhil was suffering from Thalassemia Major (TM) since childhood as both his parents were Thalassemia Minor. He was first diagnosed with Thalassemia Intermedia (transfusion dependent) when he was only six months old. He had been managing his condition with regular blood transfusions, but after marriage, he became concerned about his future. The possibility of his disorder being passed on to the next generation really worried him.

He started exploring various options available to find a cure for his condition. Initial consultations with the experts at BLK Super Speciality Hospital convinced Nikhil that he could not only find a cure for his condition but also save future generation from further sufferings. It was essentially a battle to beat the life threatening Thalassemia Major for a normal life and saving future generation from the disease that inspired him to undergo a high risk transplant procedure and find a way to leading a normal active life.

THE PROCEDURE

He was advised that transplantation of a special kind of stem cells found in the bone marrow has been the only curative option for patients with Thalassemia Major. Encouraged by his positive test results, he decided to undergo a high risk Bone Marrow Transplant at BLK Super Speciality Hospital.





Investigations revealed that stem cells from his brother’s marrow were a perfect match. After careful planning, he underwent an Allogeneic Haematopoeitic Stem Cell Transplantation with stem cells harvested from his brother’s marrow. The high risk transplant was performed under the supervision of Dr. Dharma Choudhary, Director & Sr. Consultant, Haemato-oncology & Bone Marrow Transplant, BLK Super Speciality Hospital.

THE RESULT

The transplant went uneventfully. Post transplant, he was on aggressive monitoring for Graft Vs Host diseases (GDHD) along with immunosuppressant medications. He was advised for a fortnightly OPD visit for the first three months which gradually reduced to once a month in the following 6 months. It has been almost a year post the successful transplant with no signs of any complications. He now lives a normal, active transfusion-free life with no requirement of immunosuppressant. Today, he is very positive about his life and looks ahead for a healthy and brighter future both for himself and the generation ahead.

DISCUSSION

There are several surveys and studies that show that India has the largest Thalassemia related cases in the world and nearly 4% of the population in India are carriers of ß (beta) Thalassemia trait. About 10,000 - 15,000 babies with Thalassemia Major are born every year. Thalassemia is transmitted by inheritance of abnormal β Thalassemia genes from both carrier parents, or abnormal β Thalassemia gene from one parent and an abnormal variant haemoglobin gene (HbE, HbS) from the other parent.