Manipal: First Paediatric Bone Marrow Transplant at Kasturba Hospital

Manipal: The first ever Paediatric Bone marrow transplantation in costal Karnataka was done at Kasturba Medical College & Hospital, Manipal under the leadership of Medical Oncologist Dr Karthik S Udupa, Assistant Professor, Dept of Medical Oncology, Shirdi Sai Cancer Hospital, Kasturba Hospital, Manipal. The autologous bone marrow transplant (BMT) was performed on a 4 year old female child.


Parents of the girl child, a resident of Korangarapadi, Udupi, Initially came with swelling in her skull and neck and later she was diagnosed as stage 4 neuroblastoma in Kasturba Hospital, Manipal. Neuroblastoma is a most common solid cancer of childhood that frequently originates in one of the adrenal glands, but can also develop in nerve tissues in the neck, chest, abdomen, or pelvis. Soon after the diagnosis, the child received 8 cycles of chemotherapy for which she responded well. This was consolidated with autologous bone marrow transplant which lasted for 36 days from 7 Jan 2016 to 12 Feb 2016.

Bone marrow transplant involves 3 major steps, said Dr Kathik Udupa: 1) Stem Cell Collection. 2) High dose Chemotherapy. 3) Stem Cell Transfusion. The child was admitted on 5-1-2016 and her normal stem cell were collected and stored. The patient was given high dose Chemotherapy on 6-1-2016, and the previously collected stem cell was transfused on 7-1-2016. Subsequently she had a period of Neutropenia i.e. low WBC count which was then complicated by high grade fever and persistent loose stools and electrolyte imbalance. All the complications were managed with appropriate medicine and strict aseptic measures for next 25 days. During the procedure the child was made to stay in an isolated sterile environment and strict barrier nursing was followed. Presently the child has no fever and loose Stools and electrolyte are within the normal range. He also said that the child is perfectly healthy and is fit to perform her normal daily activities like any other normal child.

Stem cell collection (Apheresis); which is required for BMT, was done under the leadership of Dr Shamee Shastri, HOD Transfusion medicine, Kasturba Medical College and Hospital, Manipal and specialist Paediatric advice was obtained from Dr Srikiran Hebbar, HOD Paediatrics, Kasturba Hospital, Manipal.

Dr (Col.) M Dayananda, Medical Superintendent and COO said that: “After introduction of BMT facility at Kasturba Hospital Manipal in 2015, 5 successful transplants have been performed so far by Dr Karthik S Udupa. This was the first occasion where transplant was done in a paediatric patient, Dr Dayananda added. This treatment is the first of its kind in costal Karnataka which was earlier available only at Bangalore. The whole procedure was performed at a very affordable cost and is economical compared to other corporate set up.

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