Abu Dhabi, UAE : Three patients suffering from multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer, were given a new lease of life after successfully undergoing autologous bone marrow transplant therapy at Burjeel Medical City’s Oncology Department, the hospital announced. The procedure was carried out by a team of experts led by renowned Emirati oncologist Dr. Humaid al Shamsi, Consultant Oncologist and Director of Oncology Services at the hospital, saving the lives of two UAE residents and a Lebanese national flown to Abu Dhabi for the procedure. 

Autologous bone marrow transplant is an innovative therapy to treat multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer that affects the plasma cells. It is a game-changer technology in treating people with blood cancers as it does not require a stem cell donor. In an autologous bone marrow transplant, the healthy stem cells of the patient are collected and stored for re-infusion.    

The advanced and unique procedure was performed by a team of multi-disciplinary doctors, including hematologists and oncologists at Burjeel Medical City, which had recently launched an integrated bone marrow transplant program. 

Diagnosed with multiple myeloma in January 2021, Lebanese national Ameen Khair Eddin is one of the three patients to receive the treatment. The 53-year-old school teacher underwent bone marrow transplant therapy at Burjeel Medical City under Dr. Humaid al Shamsi. “The treatment,” Ameen said, “took less than two months from start to finish.”

The two other patients, Samuel Jalalon Canque, a 41-year-old Filipino engineer living in Sharjah, and a 51-year-old patient who wishes to remain anonymous, described similarly straightforward experiences from the beginning of treatment until recuperation and discharge.

Samuel received his treatment in November 2021, and is currently recovering at home. "I am undergoing regular checkups, and the progress I am making is significant," he said. 

The third patient, a resident of Abu Dhabi, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2005 and has since been receiving conventional treatment in Abu Dhabi.

“I have battled this painful disease for the last 15 years. The only option was to travel abroad for treatment. Now, however, I could get the same level of care at home in Abu Dhabi, next to my family and loved ones, without incurring any of the expenses that would have ensued were I to seek this treatment abroad,” he said.

Bone marrow transplant is an innovative therapy that can treat leukemia, aplastic anemia, multiple myeloma, and lymphoma. These patients undergo high-dose chemotherapy treatment to destroy the cancer cells, which would damage their bone marrow. 

According to Dr. Kayane Mheidly, Consultant Hematologist at Burjeel Medical City, the autologous bone marrow transplant is an advanced therapy that saves the lives of people affected by blood cancer. 

"Burjeel Medical City is one of the few centers in the country offering this advanced treatment. We had launched the unit in September. In this short time, we have given hope to many people. Earlier, people in the UAE had to travel abroad for bone marrow transplantation. But now, they can avail the treatment at home. The treatment takes about 4-6 weeks," she added.  

Dr. Humaid Al Shamsi, Director of Oncology Services at Burjeel Medical City, said that the bone marrow transplant unit at the oncology center has 13 beds and conforms to stringent medical and technical specifications and standards to ensure the safety of patients throughout the process.

"Burjeel Medical City has the infrastructure and expertise necessary to deliver this highly sophisticated treatment in the UAE.," he said, adding: “This is more than just good news for blood cancer patients in the UAE and neighboring countries. Delivering this level of treatment requires a comprehensive range of medical, pharmaceutical and technical services before, during and after the procedure, and we can now assure the public that these services are available at Burjeel Medical City.”

He added that the therapy will also play a crucial role in transforming the treatment of noncancerous diseases and genetic diseases like thalassemia, sickle cell anemia, hereditary anemia, and phagocytosis.

For more information, visit www.burjeelmedicalcity.com 


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About Burjeel Medical City

Burjeel Medical City (BMC) is a 400-bed multi-specialty hospital and quaternary care centre located in Abu Dhabi, UAE. BMC offers high-quality specialised treatment and emergency care in over 39 adult and paediatric specialties, aided by state-of-the-art medical technology and an international team of experts certified by top global medical boards. With a total area of 1.2 million sq. ft, BMC is home to modern medical and administrative facilities, including the UAE's largest rehabilitation and long-term care centre Burjeel Darak, and the highly automated next-generation lab BMC Central Laboratory. Find more information at https://www.burjeelmedicalcity.com/ 

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