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A successful stem cell transplant cures 7 year old of rare Cancer

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Mumbai: When 7 year old Vedant from Indore complained of severe pain in his abdomen in 2015, local doctors diagnosed him with Burkitt’s lymphoma, which is a rare type of cancer mostly seen in young children. When the disease relapsed last year – more aggressively this time – doctors at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai, (KDAH) helped him get rid of the tumor that was spread along his stomach and legs, through high dose chemotherapy.

In order to avoid another recurrence of the disease, Dr. Santanu Sen, Consultant in Pediatrics, Pediatric Oncology & Stem Cell Transplantation at KDAH recommended a bone marrow transplant that would completely cure Vedant of his disease.

“This is a rare disorder where stem cells from one’s own bone marrow can be used to completely treat the patient. Since this was the second occurrence of the aggressive disease, the healthy stem cells in Vedant’s marrow were far too less in number, and hence we had to keep him under therapy to multiply his cells for 4 months. A successful transplant was conducted last month, which enabled us to help the cheerful young boy get rid of his disease completely”, said Dr. Santanu Sen.

In India, Burkitt’s lymphoma is very rare. It is estimated that 1-2 children in a million would be affected by Burkitt’s. Most symptoms include a large mass in the stomach, usually with enlargement of the liver and spleen. In cases of relapse, after intensive chemotherapy, a successful stem cell transplant helps in increasing the survival rate of the child.

“When the disease recurred, we had no idea that it could be completely cured. We were referred to Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital by a doctor friend from London. The supportive doctors coupled with the caring staff and Vedant’s always-positive nature has, today, helped him start a new lease of life. His recovery will take a minimum of two to three months, and depending on his health condition, he’ll start school again.” said his grandfather, Mr. Jangid.

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