Apollo Bramwell Hospital is proud to announce that it has used patients’ own bone marrow stem cells to treat conditions where traditional medical interventions were not successful. The Stem Cell Programme – a First in Mauritius and the Sub Saharan region – uses the restorative and curative powers of bone marrow stem cells in treating diseases such as obstructed arteries, gangrene, diabetic foot threatened with amputation, heart disease, orthopedic and sports injuries, bone non-union fractures among others. Diabetic patients can benefit from bone marrow stem cells as they can alleviate cardiovascular complications normally associated with the illness. Success stories include that of a 86 year old bed-ridden and long-time diabetic patient, who was suffering from a non-healing ulcer of 10x5 cm in the left leg with total loss of skin for more than two months, coupled with blackened skin due to gangrene and lack of blood circulation. ABH doctors diagnosed patient with blocked main arteries in the left leg.
The treatment started in February 2011 using the patient’s own bone marrow in addition to skin graft for the skin ulcer area. Since then, the general health condition of the patient has been improving considerably to the satisfaction of the family. Four months after the procedure, the skin graft was not distinguishable from the rest of the leg skin and the blackened area disappeared leaving the skin tone for the whole left leg normal and uniform. Blood circulation improved significantly in the toes of left leg and the patient is now able to walk again without support or pain. Final CT – angiogram evidence of the regeneration of new blood vessels will be presented after patient’s consent. Another 71 year-old long-time diabetes patient was bound for foot amputation. He had originally shown his gangrened right foot to several doctors and healthcare providers but all were adamant that it had to be amputated. Skin grafting performed abroad had also failed thrice.
The patient showed significant improvement as from day 10 after the procedure as new cell growth started covering his exposed bone. Improvement continued until 30 days from the start of the therapy where all his exposed bone was covered with healthy new cell growth and blood flow to his foot was significantly improved. Statistics available at the Mauritian Ministry of Health and Quality of Life show there are around 500 amputations performed every year on the island due to diabetes-related complications. These amputations lead to physical disability and can occasionally cause death.
“Stem Cells function as a repair system in the body. When stem cells are introduced in the body, they can regenerate the patient’s blood vessels and restore blood circulation in affected tissues thus avoiding amputations,” explains Dr Salah Aljanabi, Molecular Geneticist and Head of the Stem Cell Therapy Department at Apollo Bramwell. The latter holds a PhD in Molecular Genetics from the Iowa State University, USA and has spent more than twenty four years in molecular and genetic research. Another success story is that of 33 year-old young man who was suffering from avascular necrosis of both hips since 2006. He had serious difficulties to walk due to severe pain in both hips. The wheel-chair bound young man opted for stem cell therapy to avoid hip replacement. Within two weeks after the Bone marrow stem cell therapy, the patient had already reported improvement and lesser pain. MRI and X-ray done on the patient 13 weeks after the procedure revealed noticeable improvement on femoral head bone regeneration. While follow-up continues and improvements are measured, the patient is today able to walk without much pain.
According to Dr Aljanabi, Stem Cell treatment technology holds out the promise of improved treatments for many major diseases. “Using a patient's own bone marrow stem cells not only could help to rebuild the fragile and damaged tissue, but also potentially could bypass the risk of having the cells rejected,” he explains. Apollo Bramwell Hospital’s Stem Cell Department is fully equipped with state-of-the-art equipment managed by dedicated scientist and doctors who received training in the United States, Europe and Australia. For the programme, Apollo Bramwell has established clinical and scientific collaborations with leading university hospitals in Germany and France. “These patients would have otherwise been sentenced to rather significant poor quality of life for themselves and their families due to their conditions. This technology has the potential of healing several types of damage or injured tissues and saving many lives,” says Apollo Bramwell’s CEO, Mrs Valerie Rawat.
Jane and I wanted to thank you so much for the care you and your colleagues took of Jane whist in Mauritius. Everything went well and Prakash did a great job of getting us to your clinic and back over the 6 dialysis days. We had a wonderful holiday and our children and grandchildren plus the other family all enjoyed it enormously. Best wishes to you all
Andrew and Jane Stewart