by The Welthi Bureau | 7 JULY 2018
Hyderabad, 7th Jul 2018: Osteopetrosis is a condition where bones harden and become denser, as opposed to osteoporosis, where bones become more brittle and porous. Osteopetrosis is an extremely rare hereditary disorder. The disorder was diagnosed in two-year-old Satvik, who had a sudden onset of blindness and restricted movement, when he was brought to KIMS, Secunderabad, and examined by Dr. Narender Thota.
The densening of bones impairs the function of bone marrow, preventing it from producing new blood cells and immune system cells. As a result, people with severe osteopetrosis are at risk of abnormal bleeding, anaemia, and recurrent infections. In Satvik’s case, due to the increase in the growth of the bones, the pressure on his nerves increased, leading to 80% loss of sight.
Dr. Narender’s team zoned in on a bone marrow transplant to treat the condition. A transplant requires a donor’s stem cells and genetics to be a proper match to prevent adverse effects. Although such a donor was not found in India, a match was found in Germany. Importing cells costs more than 15 lakh rupees, and the surgery had an 80% success rate. With a heavy financial burden on Satvik’s family, and the possibility of their child perishing due to treatment, Dr. Narender, and his team, decided to try an alternative method, which has been used on 50 patients in India, till date.
Every human has T-cells and B-cells. If there is a reaction with T-cells, it will result in graft versus host diseases which are life threatening. Since Satvik did not have cancer, the team decided to use AlphaBeta Depletion, with Satvik’s father as the donor. The team removed AlphaBeta T-cells from the donor’s marrow and conducted the transplant, a first in a paediatric patient in the Telugu states.
“The whole credit of this treatment should go to the boy’s parents than to me,” says Dr. Narender. “A day before the surgery, Satvik’s condition deteriorated and we were doubtful to proceed further. But, his parents were strong and asked us to take the step forward. We have given high dose chemotherapy to destroy the unwanted cells. The boy was discharged on 15th day after transplant and is recovering well.” He added, “through this technology, patients without cancer can be treated without many complications.”
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