by The Welthi Bureau | 08th Dec, 2018
Hyderabad, December 08, 2018:
The two-day National Cradle Conference 2018 - a one of its kind International Conference on Obstetrics, Gynaecology, Fertility & Neonatology, being jointly hosted by the Apollo Hospitals, Apollo Cradle and Apollo Fertility, was formally inaugurated by Dr. Prathap C. Reddy, Chairman, Apollo Hospitals Group. Some of the World renowned practitioners in Mother and Child Care attending the Conference, Dr. Seang Lin Tan, Prof. of Obstetrics and Gynecology, McGill University, Canada; Dr. Wise Young, Founding Director, W. M. Keck Center for Collaborative Neuroscience, New Jersey, USA; Prof. Sailesh Kumar, Head of the Mothers, Babies and Women Health Research, University of Queensland, Australia; Dr. Sandeep Sharma, Consultant in Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Leeds Cancer Center, UK; Dr. Hima Bindu Avatapalle, Consultant Paediatric Endocrinologist, Leeds Teaching Hospitals, UK; briefed media about the latest developments and the advances these fields are likely to witness in the near future, at a Press Meet on Sunday.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Wise Young said, clinical trials are being conducted in China for treating spinal cord injuries with the umbilical cord blood, wherein the mononuclear cells from the umbilical cord blood are transplanted in the spinal cords of patients with spinal cord injury. In all 41 patients were treated, one-third of them were transplanted with the cells in the cervical area and two-thirds in the thoracic area. In 75% of these spinal cord injury patients, the area below the injury has become functional with most of them walking in a year's time, regaining bladder function, and in several of them, their sexual function is back. If successful, this can provide succor to the 3mn people with spinal cord injuries in the world, and in India alone, 500000 spinal cord injury patients will benefit. In India out of around 90,000 births per day only 5% umbilical cord blood is collected, and the other 95% is thrown away, which can be put to use with this. Therefore we need to collect all of the umbilical cord blood in India. We have taken 16 top Indian spinal surgeons to China to familiarise them with this technique. We have applied for clinical trials with the Drug Controller General of India for permission, and on approval will be conducting trials at the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai; Apollo Hospitals, Chennai, and Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital, Mumbai, for feasibility. There are several other very useful things from the umbilical cord blood, according to a recent study at Stanford University on mice, the proteins in umbilical cord blood could treat Alzheimer's. Therefore there is a great need to not to waste umbilical cord blood.
Prof. Sailesh Kumar, who specializes in fetal medicine, said there are a lot of exciting developments in the foetal therapy with aspects like blood being transfused into the foetus at an early stage of the pregnancy and stem cell treatment being provided for genetic conditions. The miniaturization of instruments is going to be a big thing in future, is currently one of the big risks of any procedure during pregnancy is the risk of premature labor, so although the procedure might be successful, the baby might be born at a very early gestation. Improvements in the instrumentation we use will certainly reduce the risk of pre-term labor.
Dr. Sandeep Sharma said, regarding the changes in the chemotherapy field, “There are new markers and new drugs, which work a different way. They change the way the cells die and live, so ovarian cancer has got newer drugs, and further drugs are in the pipeline to work on the immune system. But the focus is on how to prevent cancer, and yes we are trying to get better at treating cancer, but we will be even if we can prevent cancer in the first place. Most of the western world has seen a reduction of the cancer of the cervix, so much so that there are only a few centers to treat cervical cancers in UK. Unfortunately still very very high in India, and I see a big opportunity there in preventing cervical cancer. One of the things which has come in the last few years is the vaccine against cervical cancer. This vaccine has to be given to young girls before they start sexual life so that they can avoid cancer. We started doing this in UK ten years ago and expect to see a further reduction in cervical cancer in the next ten years. It would be a good thing to consider vaccinating children when they are 12 or 14 years old before they are exposed to the HPV virus, and getting a pap smear test done (a very simple test) before cancer. With the resources and training in India, we should be in a position to prevent cervical cancer.”
Dr. Hima Bindu Avatapalle says, “As Paediatric Endocrinologists we treat children with hormone problems, like if they are too tall or too short; thyroid problems, puberty problems, low and high blood glucose levels and obesity. one of the common problems in children is the Type 1 Diabetes, for which we have newer fast acting insulin. The way we give insulin has changed massively with insulin pumps, dual pump, etc. Also, we have counteractive hormones to stop any side effects from insulin therapy. A number of clinical trials are on in UK on artificial pancreas, and this is where a sensor tests the blood glucose levels and gives insulin depending on what the child's blood glucose level is, basically taking over the child's pancreas function. Another problem we are trying to tackle is obesity, as there are several co-morbidities and complications like heart disease, hypertension, joint problems, reduced life expectancy, etc., associated with it.”
Dr. Seang Lin Tan said, one of the latest things in IVF is genetic therapy of embryos, where we screen for the best embryo without genetic abnormalities of diseases like heart problems, cancer, etc., and fertilize them to reduce the risk of incidence of the diseases. This can especially be of benefit to those with a family history of chronic diseases, such families can go for this method instead of a normal delivery. Another area which could become popular is freezing of embryos. Unlike men who can produce quality sperms even when they are old, women are born with a few thousand eggs and the best eggs are produced when they are young. Due to modern life, as the marriage age gets postponed, one can freeze the embryo and at the right time use them and have a healthy baby. In the USA many companies are paying their employees for the freezing of embryos to postpone the pregnancy. Also in some medical condition like needing chemotherapy, the woman can freeze the embryo prior to the treatment and have a healthy baby post-treatment.
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