First Emirati patient undergoes bone marrow transplant in Abu Dhabi

AD-BMT Program continues to treat patients with blood malignancies


ABU DHABI - The Abu Dhabi Stem Cells Center (ADSCC), in collaboration with Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, has treated its first Emirati patient through the Abu Dhabi Bone Marrow Transplant program (AD-BMT). The transplant was performed in Abu Dhabi, and the patient is recovering well at home.

The AD-BMT program was established by ADSCC in August 2020 and has been treating patients since its inception in collaboration with Sheikh Khalifa Medical City. The AD-BMT program relies on stem cell therapy to treat patients with hematological and oncological illnesses, including bone marrow transplantation, which is an established stem cell-based treatment for a number of blood malignancies. These include multiple myeloma, plasma cell leukemia, large diffuse B-cell lymphoma, and Hodgkin lymphoma, as well as autoimmune diseases and benign hematological conditions such as thalassemia, among others.

In less than a year, eight patients with different types of blood malignancies have been treated.  AbdelRahman Al Jaberi, the eighth patient in question, said: “I wasn’t aware that stem cell therapy was available in the UAE, but I’m grateful to God and to our leader, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed – may he have a long life – for supporting the center so that I don’t have to travel and can recover at home in Abu Dhabi amongst my family.”

He continued, “With COVID-19, there’s a risk from travel and the time demands of quarantine. Thankfully, I don’t have to worry about that. With my family and friends standing by me, I feel a much-needed dose of positive energy to continue with the treatment. Thank God for that.”

Dr. Fatema Al Kaabi, Executive Director of the Abu Dhabi Bone Marrow Transplant program and lead physician during Al Jaberi’s treatment, said: “We are almost 50 years old as a country and are treating cancer patients using an internationally approved treatment method with curative intentions. We are aiming to incorporate smart immunotherapies and cell engineering methodologies to fight cancers in the UAE and the region.”

Dr. Yendry Ventura, Specialist in Immunology and General Manager of ADSCC, said, "As immunologists, we strive to identify innovative methods to treat conditions that are known to be challenging to cure. Using stem cell therapy in the form of bone marrow transplants is one of the most well-known and established methods to treat various conditions of blood malignancies.”

ADSCC was founded with the primary objective of meeting growing domestic and regional demand for advanced medical services and the most innovative treatments in the UAE. ADSCC is committed to ensuring the Abu Dhabi Bone Marrow Transplant program meets the highest standards of quality and patient satisfaction at every step in the process, including treatment, aftercare, and follow-up for clinical BMT personnel, patients, and their families.

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