Stem Cell Transplant Making Rapid Progress

There are 10 HSCT hubs in Iran.There are 10 HSCT hubs in Iran.

Around 6,000 hematopoietic stem cell transplantations are carried out annually in Iran using the patients’ own cells, and a far higher number are performed using cells from donors who are often close relatives of the patient, according to the Hematology-Oncology Research Center and Stem Cell Transplantation (HORCSCT) affiliated to the Tehran University of Medical Sciences.  

Ardeshir Qavamzadeh, head of the center, said the number of stem cell transplants is on par with developed countries.

“The success rate in the treatment of diseases requiring transplant is 67% at HORCSCT,” ISNA quoted him as saying.

Referring to the fast and progressive development of stem cell discipline in Iran, he said since 1983, when the adult leukemia specialty was initiated in the country, nearly 300 specialists have been trained in the field and “there is at least one specialist in each province now.”

Today, one cannot find a treatment method of stem cell transplant in the world’s advanced research centers that is not available or practiced in Iran. “We have reached a level where we can compete with the developed nations.”

 HSCT Hubs

There are 10 hubs for hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) in the country. Each includes medical universities from the provinces with one as the focal point. Medical universities of Zanjan, Qazvin, Alborz and Qom comprise one of the hubs with Zanjan as the center, said Mehdi Eskandari, education deputy at Zanjan University of Medical Sciences.  

HSCT is the transplantation of multi-potent hematopoietic stem cells, usually derived from bone marrow, peripheral blood, or umbilical cord blood. It may be autologous (when the patient’s own stem cells are used) or allogeneic (stem cells from a donor). It is a medical procedure in the field of hematology, most often performed for patients with certain cancers of the blood or bone marrow, such as multiple myeloma or leukemia.

Since HSCT is a relatively risky procedure with many possible complications, it is reserved for patients with life-threatening diseases. However, as the survival rate following the procedure has increased, its use has expanded beyond cancer, including in autoimmune diseases, blood diseases like thalassaemia major, metabolic disorders, alcoholic liver, and even rheumatism.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints