Another hope, Another try..

While surfing blogs I found this news on a blog called PakPositive, It took my attention and just after this news, an article was published in Jang newspaper..I will share that too..Its about the same thing I am going to mention below BUT it has some addition which I think I should discuss about..InshaAllah tomorrow I will post that article with my views.. Till then read this one 🙂

Autologous stem cell therapy introduced in Pakistan

Blood transfusion dependence in thalassaemia to come down

By Asadullah

KARACHI: For the first time thalassaemic patients have been treated with their own blood stem cells reducing not only their blood transfusion frequency but also lowering their iron overload significantly for the quality of their life, doctors claimed.

Dr Ilham Saleh Abuljadayel, a Saudi-born Britain-based cellular biologist, flanked by the director of Pakistan Medical and Research Council (PMRC) Dr Huma Qureshi disclosed findings of her clinical study on 28 Pakistani patients at the Orthopaedic and Medical Institute (OMI) on Tuesday.

Dr Ilham, the sole inventor of the TriStem Technology, has also applied her process of retrodifferentiation in four Indian patients of aplastic anaemia, using retrodifferentiated stem cells created from patients’ own blood in very large volumes, in a short period of time.

After her education at King’s College London, she returned to Saudi Arabia to work as an immunologist. She made her discovery by accident. She was trying to kill white blood cells by using a particular antibody when she forgot to add one ingredient to the mixture.

The result was not dead cells, but cells that had been transformed into stem cells. She called it the process retrodifferentiation: a reversal of the normal process by which immature stem cells differentiate to become mature adult cells. She is now in Karachi engaged in applying her technology on Pakistani patients.

Dr Ilham said the autologous stem cell therapy actually reduced the blood transfusion dependence of the thalassaemia major patients treated in this study by up to 70 per cent, without the need for an HLA matched donor, growth factors and invasive surgery.

“We have witnessed significant reduction in their (patients) iron overload as measured by serum ferritin by between 15 to 50 per cent without the use of any form of chelation in a span of 4-12 weeks,” she wised up The News after the launch of the study by President Pervez Musharaf the same day.

Stem cell therapy of TriStern is presently being applied to treat aplastic anaemia, leukemia, sickle cell anaemia, spinal cord injury, type-I diabetes, muscular dystrophy, Alzheimer, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, motor neuron disease, congestive heart disease and others.

According to Dr Ilham, the researching team of doctors at OMI has also applied the very stem cell technology to a 24-year-old diabetic girl, who started synthesizing her own insulin within four weeks of therapy. “It is amazing as her insulin requirement dropped significantly and her eczema disappeared too.”

Dr Javed Akhtar, medical registrar of OMI who conducted the administration of the retrodifferentiation technology, said it has proven to be safe in over 30 patients with no negative outcome or procedure-related mortality for periods up to 13 months. He said the follow up of the patients would last for 24 months.

“We have treated 28 patients of thalassaemia major with minimally invasive autologous stem cell technology, causing no harm during or after the procedure,” he maintained. “We have seen no side-effect at all in patients we have treated so far with the fully automated stem cell therapy.”

Tariq Mumtaz, the CEO of Healthcare Solutions International, said that the results of the clinical studies to date are very encouraging. “We are conducting these studies according to good clinical practices standards under the supervision of the principal investigator Prof Tasnim Ahsan whereas Quintiles is monitoring the protocol.”

“We are the first company in the world to successfully apply stem cell therapy to treat thalassaemia major, a debilitating and deadly blood disorder that affects hundreds of thousands of people and kills several thousand children before they reach the age of ten worldwide,” Mumtaz said.

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