DUBAI- In one of the most remarkable breakthroughs in the fight against cancer, advances in stem cell transplants are resulting in lower mortality rates for children with leukemia. According to the University of Chicago, significant improvements have been made in graft manipulation, donor selection, fine-tuning of conditioning regimens as well as new forms of immunosuppression after transplants.
The combined effect means fewer complications, higher recovery rates and greater anti-tumor effects of the stem cell grafts. This could sway more medical experts in the Gulf to recommend the revolutionary HSCT (Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation), which is now considered the most effective option for tackling leukemia.
In order to give Gulf patients and doctors greater access to the latest cancer breakthroughs, Gulf Care International has brought one of the world’s most eminent researchers in childhood cancers specifically, and blood diseases as a whole. Dr John M Cunningham is Professor of Pediatrics, Physiology and Stem Cell Research at the University of Chicago, which collaborates with Gulf Care International to provide ultra-competitive medical care for Gulf patients in the US.
Doctors from the UAE and the wider region have benefited immensely from the leading-edge research that was dissected and disseminated by Dr Cunningham at the recently held Arab Pediatrics Congress.
Summarizing the insights he shared at the congress, Dr Cunningham said: “Even when a child with leukemia has undergone stem cell grafts, that is only half the story — because some children tragically succumb to post-transplant complications. That’s why Gulf doctors are showing greater interest in revolutionary new disease-specific post-transplant therapies and donor lymphocyte infusions (DLIs). Some of these emerging concepts are still too complex for doctors to understand, let alone the parents and certainly not the children themselves. So we need greater synergies between the Gulf and US medical communities to accelerate skills transfer and information exchange.”
Concluding on a highly optimistic note, Dr Cunningham pointed out: “I strongly believe we are on the verge of greater progress in understanding cancer than we ever have at any point in human history. Knowledge is the best medicine, and solutions like tumor vaccines are already becoming a reality.”