Published: Sunday, June 16, 2013

Asian Centre for Blood & Bone Marrow Transplantation

Marrow-thon for transplants

A part of blood stem cell transplantation process that cures a varying range of diseases, mostly cancers.

A part of blood stem cell transplantation process that cures a varying range of diseases, mostly cancers.

Blood cancer is common nowadays. With trending of the disease, its treatment options ‘stem cell transplantation’ or ‘bone marrow transplantation’ are also named frequently. Blood stem cell transplantation (or haematopoietic cell transplantation, HCT) is a term that includes bone marrow, peripheral blood stem cell and umbilical cord blood transplantation.
While more accurately termed blood stem cell or haematopoietic cell transplantation, the term “bone marrow transplant” is often used interchangeably as transplants were performed from a bone marrow source historically. Nowadays, apart from the bone marrow, blood stem cells may be obtained from the peripheral blood, bone marrow or umbilical cord blood, and hence “blood stem cell transplant” is a broader and more accurate term.
Diseases that may be treated with a blood stem cell transplant include Acute myeloid leukaemia, Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, Multiple myeloma, Non Hodgkin lymphomas, Hodgkin lymphoma, Myelodysplastic syndromes, Aplastic anaemia, Myeloproliferative neoplasms, Chronic myeloid leukaemia, Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, Severe autoimmune diseases.
A centre of excellence for blood stem cell transplantation is the Asian Centre for Blood & Bone Marrow Transplantation (ACBBMT). It was set up in 2013 under the Comprehensive Transplant Centre (CTC) at Gleneagles Hospital in Singapore. With the Asian Centre for Liver Diseases & Transplantation (ACLDT) established as the region’s leading liver diseases and transplantation clinic, Dr Yvonne Loh, formerly the Medical Director of the Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant programme in Singapore General Hospital (SGH) where she has done close to 100 transplants, has been appointed to spearhead this new ACBBMT.
ACBBMT aims to provide optimum clinical care for patients with blood disorders, particularly blood cancers such as leukaemia, myeloma and lymphoma, and blood stem cell (including bone marrow and cord blood) transplantation.
Dr Yvonne Loh, the leading transplant physician, Haematologist and Medical Director of the ACBBMT shared her insight about bone marrow transplants and its the recent practice.
Every day Dr Loh works on the front line in the fight against the most common forms of blood disease including leukaemia and lymphoma as a clinician. Nobody knows better than she does how a transplant can not only save a life but just the chance of survival transforms despair into hope for patients and their families.
Dr Loh informs that up to 60 years, bone marrow transplant can give potential benefit to patients. But child Leukaemia is easier to treat and children usually respond to chemotherapy.
According to Dr Loh, infection is a bigger problem than graft rejection following a bone marrow transplantation. The process itself is not much complicated, but the quality of total care from assessment to post transplant care is very crucial that requires a very skilled and experienced team handling the patient. Dr Loh assures that they offer that level of care at their centre with a team of experienced clinician and technical staff at ACBBMT.