Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Stem Cell Centre (ADSCC) has treated 13 cancer patients, and one female patient with multiple sclerosis, through the Abu Dhabi Bone Marrow Transplant Programme (AD-BMT).
The centre, a subsidiary of integrated healthcare platform PureHealth, was the first to perform a successful bone marrow transplant in July 2020. It has now been recognised as a centre of excellence by the Department of Health Abu Dhabi, the emirate’s health regulator.
“The announcement is a testament to the centre’s state-of-the-art infrastructure and its high-quality services in bone marrow transplantation. Operating according to the best and latest international, evidence-based practices, and led by a team of internationally recognised experts, the centre is guaranteed to achieve the best patient outcomes possible in the emirate and beyond,” the DoH said in a statement.
Centres of Excellence are healthcare facilities that provide specialised and distinguished programmes with a high level of expertise and multidisciplinary resources. This allows them to conduct advanced medical procedures in specific clinical areas, and conduct complex research to provide the highest levels of care.
ADSCC’s new status was announced in the presence of Mansoor Al Mansoori, DoH chairman, Dr Noura Al Ghaithi, DoH acting undersecretary, Farhan Malik, PureHealth managing director and chief executive officer, Dr Yendry Ventura, ADSCC chief executive officer, and Dr Fatima Alkaabi, executive director of the Bone Marrow Transplant Programme at ADSCC.
The DoH outlines six key indicators that are taken into consideration when evaluating whether the healthcare facility can be recognised as a Centre of Excellence. Among them are clinical outcomes, patient experience, patient safety and quality of medical services, levels of employee competency and the facilities’ medical education and research strategies. DoH also assesses the accreditations to determine the healthcare facility’s eligibility.
As a centre of excellence in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation, ADSCC provides an integrated and specialised range of surgical and non-surgical clinical services with world-class healthcare quality for patients who require hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for the treatment of blood diseases that includes autologous stem cell transplantation, and allogeneic stem cell transplantation and CAR-T cell therapy.
As the Centre of Excellence in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation, ADSCC will establish an integrated laboratory for the diagnosis of Leukaemia, headed by an expert team of doctors specialising in bone marrow transplantation. Members of the experts’ team all hold an accredited American or Canadian Board or an equivalent certification.
Given its distinguished and extensive experience, ADSCC will contribute to advancing medical research, promoting continuing medical education, and providing training opportunities for medical personnel from various health facilities.
Path of excellence
“The support and guidance of our wise leadership is what inspires us to continue propelling the healthcare sector in the emirate forward on a path of excellence. As we recognise the first centre of excellence specialising in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation, we are enhancing the competitiveness and efficiency of the healthcare sector in Abu Dhabi and moving steadily towards cementing the Emirate’s position as a leading destination for healthcare worldwide. What we’re witnessing today is only the beginning of a better and more sustainable future for the healthcare sector in the emirate. By encouraging quality healthcare services and integrating technology, science, and the best operational practices, we fulfil our vision of Abu Dhabi as a place where everyone can be at their healthiest, physically and mentally,” Dr Al Ghaithi said.
“The DoH has put forth a set of standards and guidelines to ensure operational efficiency and guarantee that centres of excellence in the emirate provide community members with a patient-centred healthcare experience. Patients in Abu Dhabi will have access to specialised healthcare facilities, which provide services of exceptional quality, safety, and high efficiency, led by experienced and competent healthcare professionals,” she added.
To ensure that patients have easy access to high-quality bone marrow transplantation services, the Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Council was established, led by the ADSCC, where a group of haematology experts in the emirate come together to facilitate the provision of bone marrow transplantation services.
“AD-BMT provides a comprehensive and integrated ecosystem designed to implement innovative solutions, advanced research, and cell therapy, while leveraging educational platforms for healthcare professionals and scientists,” Dr Alkaabi said.
She emphasised the ground-breaking aspect of the programme as the first of its kind to conduct a bone-marrow transplant successfully in the UAE in July 2020, and the first centre in the Middle East to offer marrow transplantation for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) in November 2022.
“The selection of the ADSCC as a Centre of excellence in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation is a prestigious honour. This classification is a testament to our group’s unwavering commitment, under the directives of the UAE’s visionary leadership, to transform the nation’s healthcare ecosystem and provide the highest quality care to our patients, and the centre’s dedication to innovative research and collaboration. At PureHealth, we are committed to advancing the science of Longevity, with a continued focus on excellence and innovation. We will continue to lead the Abu Dhabi Stem Cells Center in setting new standards of care for patients across the region and increasing lifespans for all,” said Shaista Asif,, at PureHealth
The AD-BMT programme provides treatment to all patients through the Abu Dhabi Stem Cells Center as well as Yas Clinic Hospital Khalifa City. Through comprehensive clinical care, starting from the initial consultation to assess the patient’s eligibility for treatment, conducting pre-transplant examinations, to assessing and searching for donors by offering access to international records of bone marrow banks and all cell collections by a specialised team. Stem cells are processed, characterised, and stored for clinical application under the supervision of adept scientists and laboratory technicians.
The Abu Dhabi Bone Marrow Transplant Programme provides treatment (through hematopoietic stem cell transplantation) for a range of benign and malignant blood disorders and autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) with a comprehensive approach to autologous or non-autologous stem cell transplantation or advanced cellular therapies for both adults and children.
ADSCC, a PureHealth asset is a highly specialised healthcare centre focused on cell therapy and regenerative medicine techniques. It was founded in March 2019 to meet growing domestic and regional demand for highly specialised medical services and treatments. The centre primarily focuses on processing, characterising, and storing cell products for clinical applications such as regenerative medicine, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and cell therapy, and continues to provide advanced treatments such as extracorporeal photopheresis.