Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Holguin advances in stem cell transplantation

Specialists at the Lucia Iñiguez Landin hospital surgical clinic of the province of Holguin performed successfully the fourth hematopoietic stem cell transplant in eastern Cuba. According to Dr. Fernando Cruz Tamayo, head of Oncohematology and Hemotherapy Service in this medical institution, this is the first surgical procedure of this type performed on a man among the four conducted in the eastern region. He added that the 38 year old patient, resident in Banes, about 90 kilometers north of the provincial capital, is improving after surgery. This complex transplant on Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma was tolerated optimally by the patient, both in the previous steps as in the extraction of more than one thousand milliliters of blood from the bone marrow, in just 30 minutes. Now the patient is undergoing the postoperative stage in a strict isolation regime to ensure his recovery, said Cruz Tamayo. He noted that this operation, like the previous three, is also of the autologous type, consisting of the transfusion of his own stem cells. The specialist noted that prior to this final moment, the patient was ready to receive cells after high doses of chemotherapy aimed at destroying the tumor that causes damage to the bone marrow, which provides the red and white cells and platelets. For this reason, he said, it is necessary to neutralize this effect, achieved by a transfusion of stem cells to restore hematopoiesis or formation of red blood cells, leukocytes and platelets. The patient was operated by hematologists Leonardo Laguna, Jaime Martinez and Luis Niebla, along with specialists Yaritza Labañino and Yaité González from the province of Guantanamo, as part of their specialized training. The Guantanamo doctors have been participating in the three transplants performed this year and will be ready to face the hematology patient care in that province from June. Such operations are only performed in Havana, Villa Clara and in Holguin, said Cruz Tamayo. Cuba has achievements that are real contributions to international scientific literature in this area, as it is the experienced improvement in individuals with chronic lymphedema of the lower limbs, and the favorable result in a child suffering from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, in whom the treatment based on stem cell graft avoided the need for a lung transplant. Stem cells are those capable of experiencing unlimited divisions and give rise to different cell types that exist in the body. They are able to regenerate tissue damaged by disease, trauma or aging, and may be obtained from the bone marrow, peripheral blood, cornea, brain, lung, endometrial, and other organs and tissues. With information from AIN

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