Mumbai: TATA Memorial plans to have 100 child Bone Marrow Transplants each year

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in this regard was signed in 2018 and more than 100 transplants have been done since. Doctors said they have targeted to conduct 100 BMT every year.

Swapnil MishraUpdated: Friday, December 09, 2022, 09:41 AM IST
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Tata Memorial Centre |

Mumbai: The Tata Memorial Hospital (Parel) joined hands with three other city hospitals including Wadia Hospital, SRCC Hospital (Haji Ali) and the BMC-run Comprehensive Thalassemia Centre (Borivali) to bring down the waiting period of paediatric cancer patients requiring bone marrow transplants (BMT).

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in this regard was signed in 2018 and more than 100 transplants have been done since. Doctors said they have targeted to conduct 100 BMT every year.

Blood cancer is the most common cancer among children. A number of patients get registered at the Tata Hospital for treatment and many need to undergo BMT. However, there is a waiting period of 6 months to 1 year, despite immediate attention required in numerous cases. As per the data, 37 BMT were done from 2014 to 2017, which further increased to 141 between 2018 and 2021 and 55 have been done this year to date. However, 25 per cent of these procedures are done at Tata Hospital.

Tata Memorial Centre (TMC) director of academics, Dr SD Banavali said it helps them to create awareness regarding childhood cancer and its curability. “The positive energy created during the HOPE Program also gives us the impetus to think about how we can improve the outcomes of children with cancer with cutting-edge research and therapies like CAR-T cell therapy and proton therapy, just to name a few,” he said.

Ms Shalini Jatia, officer-incharge, ImPaCCT Foundation (TMC) said no child coming from poor socio-economic strata is ever charged for treatment. “Our nine hospitals across six states take care of complete treatment of 4,000 new cases of childhood cancer across India every year. As more childhood cancer cases are being treated and getting cured, the number of survivors is also increasing,” she said.

According to Ms Jatai, the new focus is the post-treatment survivor program, wherein complete support for lifelong follow-ups and medical support (if needed) is provided. “Education and employment opportunities are also provided so thatthe childhood cancer survivor can integrate back into society and successfully contribute,” she added.

Through the inception of the ImPaCCT Foundation, more than 35,000 pediatric cancer cases have been treated with complete holistic support. “We have raised close to Rs350 crore in donations through the government, CSR programmes, NGOs and HNIs, she said. Also through efforts of the ImPaCCT Foundation, the dropout rate has gone down from 24% to 2%. The reason for drop-out is the weak financial condition of parents, the need to travel long distances for treatment, lack of belief in the curability and gender bias. Dr Girish Chinnaswamy, head of paediatric oncology and Tata Memorial Hospital said, “We are setting up highly specialised multidisciplinary paediatric oncology units at all TMC centres across the country,” he said

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