The Morozov Children’s Hospital has managed to increase the number of unrelated bone marrow transplants performed in children sevenfold in three years. This became possible thanks to a scientific grant from the Mayor of Moscow to improve the provision of medical care to children with cancer. The grant covers the costs of finding, recruiting, activating an unrelated donor (that is, examination before donation and carrying out bone marrow collection in a hospital setting) and bone marrow transportation. In the Morozov hospital, these operations are fully paid for from the regional budget. This was announced by the Deputy Mayor of Moscow for Social Development Anastasia Rakova.
“Unrelated bone marrow transplants account for 20% of the total number of such operations in the Morozov hospital. The importance is that they can significantly increase the patient’s chances of recovery. For example, in cases when the patient has no relatives or relatives have serious contraindications to donation. Thanks to a grant from the Mayor of Moscow in the Morozov hospital, specialists have managed to increase the number of bone marrow transplants performed here from unrelated donors sevenfold – from three in 2019 to 23 in 2021. Now there is no need to attract third-party funds for such operations, ” – she said.
The Morozov Hospital has the only city health care department for bone marrow and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for children.
Bone marrow transplantation is a complex method of treating a number of blood diseases, primary immunodeficiencies, hereditary metabolic disorders, neurodegenerative, autoimmune and some oncological diseases. Donor bone marrow for their implementation is delivered to the department from various registries, both from Russia and from abroad. For patients with rare variants of histocompatibility antigens, donors have to be sought all over the world, but in most cases Russian citizens become donors.
Sources of hematopoietic stem cells, which make up the bone marrow, from unrelated donors can be stem cells taken both surgically from bones and from peripheral blood. The most commonly used cells are those derived from peripheral blood. Before the start of the procedure, the donor receives a special drug, thanks to which the stem cells are released into the blood. They are then extracted using an apheresis procedure – blood filtration – and counted. The received material is sent to the clinic where the recipient is. Bone marrow donation is carried out on a voluntary basis and is absolutely safe for the donor.
The Department of Bone Marrow and Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation at the Morozov Hospital was opened in 2018, has 10 sterile boxes and became the first in the Moscow healthcare system where such operations are performed for children. Transplantations in the city Morozov hospital are financed from the budget of the capital and are carried out for patients with permanent registration in the region. Since the beginning of 2021, doctors have already performed 62 bone marrow transplants in children. Since the opening of the department, 163 transplants have been performed here.