AFSU Has Made Another Breakthrough: Stem Cell Transplant from a Unrelated Donor

A stem cell harvested from a fully matched donor in Germany was successfully transplanted to a patient being treated at AFSU Health Application and Research Center. Our Rector Prof. Dr. Nurullah Okumuş said, “We are proud of being able to perform stem cell transplantation from both related and non-related donors in our Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Clinic.”

Since a fully matched donor could not be found from Turkey, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Yeter Düzenli Kar, a faculty member of the Pediatric Hematology Department at AFSU, gave information about the operation performed by bringing peripheral stem cells harvested from a fully matched donor in Germany. She also added that it was observed that the transplant of our patient was successful and that no malignant cells were found in the bone marrow pool during a one-month follow-up period.

Transplants Can Be Made from Related and Non-related Donors

Stating that bone marrow transplantation is a treatment method used in the treatment of many diseases such as certain types of cancer, especially blood cancers, hereditary and metabolic diseases with bone marrow insufficiency, and immune system deficiencies, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kar said: “The type of transplantation performed by taking stem cells from another donor is called Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation. These transplants, which are preferred in malignant and hereditary diseases, can be made from related and non-related donors.

Seven patients have been successfully transplanted from a fully matched sibling donor at AFSU so far. However, this patient was at high risk under the influence of chemotherapy and he did not have a fully matched related donor; therefore, the stem cell from a fully matched donor, which was brought from Germany by the Turkish Stem Cell Coordination Center,  was successfully transplanted in our center.

Our patient was taken to the Stem Cell Transplant Unit nearly ten days before the transplantation, and the preparations for our patient were completed. At this stage, since our patient had a malignant disease, first of all, whole body radiotherapy was applied in cooperation with the Department of Radiation Oncology. Then, the immune system was prepared for transplantation with chemotherapy, and the stem cell transplantation was completed with a successful operation that took about an hour. In the follow-up period of approximately one month after the transplantation, it was observed that the transplantation of our patient was successful and no malignant cells were found in the bone marrow pool.

We Experience the Happiness and Pride of Providing the Best Health Services at AFSU

Our Rector Prof. Dr. Nurullah Okumuş also pointed out the importance of successfully performing non-related transplantations as well as related ones in AFSU Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Clinic and said that AFSU undertook an important task in this regard due to the lack of pediatric stem cell transplant centers both in Afyonkarahisar and in many provinces in our region.

Stating that health professionals at AFSU were proud and happy to successfully fulfill their duties in the field of research and development, consultancy, training and production, as well as in the health services, Prof. Dr. Okumuş said, “I would like to thank all our staff who are experts in their fields and who are aware of their responsibilities for their work. I sincerely believe that our Pediatric Stem Cell Transplantation Unit, which can  serve a large number of patients, will achieve many more successes in the coming years.”