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Kauvery Hospital Trichy completes 50 Bone Marrow Transplants (BMTs)

27th March, 2024: Kauvery Hospitals, a leading multi-specialty healthcare hospital chain in India, have always been at the forefront of medical treatment, technology and service. Although the many awards and distinctions that were conferred on the group over the years are a matter of great pride, what is more important to the doctors, technicians and support staff is the successful recovery of those who are treated for their illnesses.

Cancer is one of the most feared of all diseases, but modern medical science is making rapid strides in treating it. One of the most effective and successful treatment protocols for serious illnesses such as high-risk haematological malignancies, bone marrow failure syndromes, haemoglobinopathies such as Thalassemia and some primary immunodeficiency disorders, etc. is bone marrow transplantation.

When a patient has undergone radiation or chemotherapy to kill abnormal cells that are causing the spread of cancer or other diseases, healthy cells must be introduced into the patient to replace the ones that have been killed. Stem cells are found in the bone marrow and the replacement cells may be either those that have been taken from the patient and returned after treatment (Autologous transplant) or cells taken from a genetically matched donor (Allogeneic transplant).

Bone marrow transplantation is at the cutting edge of medical technology and while the procedure has been available at some leading hospitals in metropolitan areas, Kauvery Hospitals have taken the technology to tier 2 cities. Trichy Kauvery Hospital’s BMT service is licensed by the government of Tamil Nadu. The hospital management and various NGOs provide support to financially challenged patients to undergo this complex treatment. Setting up such a state-of-the-art transplant department requires the availability of transplant physicians, specialized laboratory facilities, dedicated round-the-clock post-transplant care and more. Kauvery Hospital Trichy has a fully equipped and staffed department to perform bone marrow transplants of the highest international standards. BMT unit which started functioning in 2020 recorded its 50th successful transplant in December 2023

This remarkable achievement of providing world-class BMT treatment in a tier 2 city was recently highlighted  by Dr. RM Subbaiah, Consultant Clinical Haematologist, at the 28th annual meeting of Asia Pacific Blood and Marrow Transplantation (APBMT) held in Indonesia. Dr. RM Subbaiah who performed Trichy’s first bone marrow transplant at Kauvery Hospital in 2020 said: “The crux of bone marrow transplantation is post-transplant follow up where the patient needs to review with the doctor frequently to assess the optimal functioning of graft, watch for infections so they may be treated promptly, or to quickly diagnose the development of graft versus host disease so that the use of immunosuppressive agents could be optimized to prevent life-threatening consequences.”

Among the stellar achievements of the Kauvery Hospital BMT department is performing a bone marrow transplant on a 4-month-old infant. This highly complex procedure was carried out by Dr. Vinod Gunasekaran, Consultant Paediatric Haematologist who has 10 years of experience in bone marrow transplants. Dr. Vinod Gunasekaran, who performed the first paediatric transplant at Kauvery Hospital in 2021 said “This was a case of a complex bone marrow transplant done on a 4-month-old baby suffering from Osteopetrosis, a rare ailment which is fatal without an urgent transplant. The procedure was successful; the child is nearly 2 years old now and in good health with normal development parameters. Notably, the donor stem cells were safely collected from the child’s 2-year-old brother. Also, children with thalassemia, who require lifelong blood transfusions, have undergone bone marrow transplant at a young age and are free from transfusions now. Similarly, at the other end of the spectrum, recently the hospital has also performed a BMT on an elderly, 74-year-old individual to treat his life-threatening haematological malignancy, which is now under control for more than 6 months.

While traditionally bone marrow transplants require 100% donor compatibility, at Kauvery Hospital the use of the latest medical technology means that it is now possible to perform transplants with even a 50% genetic match. 

Speaking about achieving the milestone of 50 BMTs, Dr. D. Senguttuvan, Executive Director & Co-Founder of Kauvery Group of hospitals, said that reaching the milestone of 50 BMTs in a tier 2 city like Trichy is a remarkable feat. The hospital’s world-class medical standards, technology and equipment are the reasons behind the 40 successful adult and 10 paediatric transplants done so far. He congratulated Drs. Dr. RM Subbaiah and Dr. Vinod Gunasekaran on this remarkable achievement. He went on to say that now there is no longer any need for the people of Trichy and around to travel to major metropolitan centres to have BMTs performed since all the required infrastructure, of the best standard, is available in Trichy itself. Dr. Senguttuvan also said that the Kauvery Hospital Haematology & BMT department will continue to grow and expand its services to provide the best possible care and treatment to those residing in and around the rapidly growing city of Trichy.

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