The first complex procedure conducted in Hubli setup at 30% lower cost compared to that of tier 1 cities
Hubli, 08th November 2022 – To bridge the real gap of inaccessible and unaffordable cancer care in India, doctors at HCG NMR Cancer Centre and Suchirayu Hospitals Hubli have performed a complex procedure on a 40-year-old suffering from multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer. For the first time ever, such advanced treatment has been performed in North Karnataka by Dr. Vishal Kulkarni, Senior Consultant Medical & Hemato Oncologist, HCG NMR Cancer Centre Hubli and Dr. Sachin Jadhav, Group Head Haematology & Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT), HCG Group of Hospitals.
Varsha (name changed) a mother of two, who was struggling with repeated lower back ache was diagnosed with stage 2 multiple myeloma – a cancer of the plasma cells, specifically white blood cells. She had multiple lesions in the vertebral column of the spinal cord in March 2022. She was referred to HCG NMR Cancer Centre by a neurosurgeon, she underwent a bone marrow test confirmed multiple myeloma and was put on induction chemotherapy to which she had a good response.
A team of doctors led by Dr. Sachin Jadhav and Dr. Vishal Kulkarni decided to perform an advanced BMT procedure, known as Autologous Stem Cell transplantation. This novel procedure demands a high level of skill, technical expertise of doctors and well-equipped infrastructure, it involves transfusing healthy bone marrow stem cells into a person after his or her own unhealthy bone marrow has been treated to remove the abnormal cells. The procedure was successfully performed, and the patient was discharged in a stable condition.
Dr. Sachin Jadhav, Group Head Haematology & Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT), HCG Group of Hospitals said: “In a country that struggles with unaffordability and inaccessibility of cancer care, such procedures are nothing less than creating history and showing how our country is moving towards closing this gap. For the first time, a blood cancer patient from the rural setup did not have to travel all the way to a metro city to get a treatment procedure done. Instead, we conducted a successful procedure at almost 30% less cost compared to that of tier 1 cities. While it started with blood cancer, HCG is striving hard to make local and rural treatment for all kinds of cancer possible at a reasonable cost, with utmost precision and in a sufficiently equipped infrastructure. This is one of the remarkable steps to revolutionise cancer care in India”.
Explaining the procedure, Dr. Vishal Kulkarni, Senior Consultant Medical & Hemato Oncologist, HCG NMR Cancer Centre Hubli, said: “Varsha’s case was unique considering her younger age at the time of diagnosis. She responded well to induction chemotherapy and Bone Marrow Transplantation is the only way to complete the treatment and extend quality of life for this type of blood cancer. What makes this procedure stand out is that it is a complex procedure which, until now, has been performed only in metro cities like Bangalore. This is the first time when it has been performed locally and successfully in North Karnataka. We at HCG will continue to strive to give a fresh lease of life and enhance the quality of life among Blood cancer patients.”
Dr. Jaikishan, North Karnataka Cluster Head, HCG Hospitals said: “We are honoured to be a part of witnessing a history in North Karnataka’s cancer care. The fact that our doctors successfully performed a complex and highly technical procedure in our remote facility without the patient having to travel all the way to the metro city shows that we are ready to face critical and challenging procedures even in remote parts of Karnataka at a reasonable cost. We look forward to continuing such endeavours and taking India’s cancer care to a new height.”
Varsha (name changed), who’s doing well post discharge from the hospital after the transplant, said: “I had given up all hopes of getting the procedure done as it was next to impossible for me to travel long distances for treatment given my health condition until I met the doctors at HCG NMR Cancer Centre and they achieved the impossible by doing the procedure locally and enhancing my quality of life. It is not just a blessing for me but also my two children and family. I am thankful to the doctors at HCG Hospitals.”