JULY 29, 2020 — The Abu Dhabi Stem Cells Centre (ADSCC) officially inaugurated the Abu Dhabi Bone Marrow Transplant (AD-BMT) programme on July 27, 2020, following the first successful bone marrow transplant in the United Arab Emirates. Through the cooperation of ADSCC and Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, the transplant was performed on a patient with multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer.
Dr Fatima Alkaabi, BMT Executive Director, expresses the programme’s gratitude to SKMC in making the breakthrough possible. “It fills us with great pride to be part of a first for the country and to make such a life-saving treatment available and accessible to those who need it here.”
Strict precautions were undertaken in conducting the said procedure, especially during the COVID-19 crisis, as the patient is immunocompromised, according to Dr Yendry Ventura, General Manager of ADSCC and BMT Programme Director.
About Bone Marrow Transplant
Bone marrow transplant, also known as hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, is a prescribed treatment for patients with bone and blood cancers. The treatment is conducted by harvesting peripheral blood stem cells from a patient who previously underwent high-dose chemotherapy. The harvested stem cells are reintroduced back into the body to restore damaged cells and restart production of healthy blood cells. Because of the previous unavailability of the procedure in the country, UAE citizens often sought this type of transplant abroad.
ADSCC’s Breakthrough ‘UAECell19’
In a series of trials, ADSCC demonstrated the effectiveness and safety of its very own breakthrough treatment ‘UAECell19’ developed for COVID-19 last June 2020. The treatment, an autologous stem cells-based therapy, underwent three levels of intellectual property protection. It demonstrated aiding the body fight coronavirus.
UAECell19 reduced the period of hospitalization from 22 days to 6, compared to patients who received standard treatment, as concluded in its initial trial. Further study revealed that patients who received the treatment were 3.1 times more likely to recover in less than seven days than those treated with standard therapy. 67% of the patients who received the stem cells treatment owed this recovery to the new treatment.
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