In an extraordinary medical achievement, doctors in the Department of Hematology & Stem Cell Transplantation at the Army Hospital R&R in Delhi Cantt. have for the first time successfully conducted a life-saving Bone Marrow Transplant (commonly known as BMT) for a child diagnosed with a rare primary immunodeficiency disorder. The ground-breaking procedure, performed on Master Sushant Paudel, has opened new doors of hope for children and families facing similar challenges.
The 7 years old son of Sepoy Pradip Paudel, Sushant was diagnosed with ARPC1b, a very rare form of immunodeficiency at one year of age, a condition that severely compromised his immune system making him prone to repeated life-threatening infections and other complications. The patient was referred to the Army Hospital (R&R) six months back but did not have a HLA matched sibling donor. The Hematology team at the Hospital, embarked on an arduous journey to find a suitable donor and orchestrate a meticulously planned bone marrow transplant.
The Matched Unrelated Donor (MUD) transplant, carried out on 30 Nov 23, involved harvesting healthy stem cells from an HLA compatible donor, which in this case was a voluntary unrelated donor and infusing them into Sushant Paudel's bloodstream, after his own defective cells were destroyed by a very high dose of chemotherapy. The procedure aimed to replace the defective immune cells with healthy ones, offering a renewed chance at a healthy and vibrant life.
After the successful transplant, the Commandant at AHRR Lt Gen Ajith Nilakantan said, “It’s a moment of great pride and satisfaction for the entire medical fraternity at AHRR and this patient is a success story due to a team effort.” The HOD at the Hematology department Brig Rajan Kapoor said, "Sushant Paudel's journey has been nothing short of miraculous. This achievement is a testament to the collaborative efforts of our dedicated medical team, the unwavering support of Sushant's family, and the generosity of the donor. To our knowledge, this is the first such transplant for this immunodeficiency in India."
Senior Advisor in the Hematology department Col Rajiv Kumar said, “Only 1 in 5 patients have a sibling with a full HLA match. The availability of HLA matched Unrelated donor stem cells, sourced in this patient from DATRI, is truly a game changer for such patients suffering from a life-threatening immunodeficiency disorder.” Pediatric Hematologist at AHRR Lt Col Sanjeev Khera stated that the presence of multiple active infections at the time of the transplant made this a very challenging and high-risk transplant. The family of Sushant Paudel shared their gratitude and optimism for the future.
The successful bone marrow transplant not only brings hope to Sushant and his family but also serves as a beacon of hope for countless others grappling with rare primary immunodeficiencies and other such disorders that are curable with a timely Bone Marrow Transplant. Army Hospital R&R remains committed to advancing medical research and treatment options for rare diseases, underscoring their dedication to improving the lives of children and families.