Blood Cancer Awareness

By Dr. Rayaz Ahmed in Cancer Care / Oncology

Mar 23 , 2023 | 2 min read

It is pertinent to think about how far we have come in managing one of the worst enemies of humanity: cancer. As my expertise lies in treating blood cancer, I would like to share my thoughts about it.

This is probably the most exciting era in the field of blood cancers.

Many new drugs have been approved in the last two decades, including immunotherapy and targeted therapies which have revolutionised the treatment landscape and survival of blood cancers.

In our country, too, there has been an improvement in the management of blood cancers over the past two decades. Hematopoietic stem cell transplant, one of the pillars in the management of blood cancers and some solid cancers, is more accessible and safe today as compared to what it was a decade ago.

Hematopoietic stem cell transplant, also commonly known as bone marrow transplant, is a non-surgical procedure which can be of two types: autologous and allogeneic.

  • Autologous stem cell transplant involves collecting stem cells from self in a manner similar to platelet donation over 4-6 hours, followed by high-dose chemotherapy and re-infusion of the collected stem cells. This type of transplant is most commonly used for conditions like Multiple Myeloma, Relapsed lymphomas, some solid cancers like neuroblastoma and certain autoimmune disease.

  • Allogeneic stem cell transplant involves collecting stem cells from a donor followed by high-dose chemotherapy and infusion of the collected stem cells. The donor can be either from the family or the international registry of stem cell donors based on their HLA matching. HLA matching for stem cell transplant is similar to blood group matching for blood transfusion. It is performed in conditions like leukaemias, myelodysplastic syndrome and non-cancerous conditions like thalassemias, aplastic anaemia, primary immunodeficiencies, PNH, sickle cell anaemia, etc.

It is not uncommon to encounter a situation where transplant is the only treatment option. A patient with blood cancer, who sees no light at the end of the tunnel, now has an opportunity to access hematopoietic stem cell transplant, which offers a ray of hope, and if we beat complications, there is a good chance of cure.

We at Max Super-Speciality Hospital feel honoured and humbled to have the opportunity to provide this life-saving intervention to patients not only from India but from across the globe. We are constantly working towards improving our outcomes to match international standards. Every day we work to fight the menace of blood cancer and think about how to make it better and safe for our patients.

A major issue facing our country is poor accessibility of world-class care, even with its easy availability. With the help of both government and non-governmental organisations, we are working towards improving the accessibility of Hematopoietic Stem Cell transplant to every patient who is in need of it because we believe that no hope is too little and no challenge is too big.

Check out - Bone Marrow Cancer Treatment in Delhi, India