AIIMS-Patna achieved a major feat on Wednesday by performing first stem cell therapy in Bihar. A very rare experiment done in select hospitals of the country, stem cells therapy was performed on a Chhapra patient whose spinal cord has been damaged.
Stem cell therapy includes impregnation of cells of bone marrow in a patient. It is done in cases when all other therapies fail to repair the damaged cells of an organ. On Wednesday morning, a team of AIIMS doctors extracted 190ml of bone marrow from the patient. A special kit was procured for the purpose by the institute from Delhi. The marrow cells were then sent to Mahavir Cancer Sansthan, which is very close to AIIMS, for centrifugation. After centrifugation, 30 ml of stem cells were obtained from the marrow.
The doctors brought the marrow cells back to the institute in afternoon and at 1pm they impregnated the cells in the patient. They were able to successfully impregnate them into vertebral artery. Via brain, the cells travelled to the artery of spinal cord and settled exactly at that portion of the cord in which the cells were damaged. The doctors took all precautions to avoid any complication, that included a possible brain stroke.
The speciality of the stem cells is that they settle only in that portion where they are required, and not anywhere else. The cells are now expected to grow of their own and it is expected that they will replace the damaged cells of the cord. As of now, the doctors are not in position to say anything about the success of the therapy. Empirically, they say, the success rate of such experiments is not bad.
The patient, 24-year old Shankar, had fallen from roof and got his spinal cord damaged. He was admitted to AIIMS-Patna a month ago. The doctors were thinking of doing stem cell therapy on him for 20 days.
If the cells grow successfully in the damaged spinal cord of Shankar, it will be a great boon for him because, as of now, the lower half of the body is completely paralysed. He is not able to move his lower limbs.
AIIMS-Patna director Dr G K Singh said, “It is a major achievement for us. After three months, we will be able to asses the development of growth of cells. The patient is fit and under observation.” The team that performed the therapy included doctors of orthopaedic, biochemistry, anaesthesia and radiology departments.