American Hospital Dubai launches the first and only autologous stem cell transplant department in Dubai. It is the first private hospital in the UAE to offer in-house stem cell transplant of patient’s stem cells, without the need for a donor. The services include laboratory diagnostics, chemotherapy, stem cell mobilisation, collection, storage and re-infusion with individualised care in specialised rooms.
stem cell transplant of patient’s stem cells, without the need for a donor. The services include laboratory diagnostics, chemotherapy, stem cell mobilisation, collection, storage and re-infusion with individualised care in specialised rooms.
The DHA-licensed stem cell unit is another step forward for American Hospital Dubai’s comprehensive cancer care programme, established more than 12 years ago.
The unit has a team of European- and US-qualified medical consultants, subspecialists and allied staff, with an international affiliation for multidisciplinary case review and discussions.
The unit’s nurses are highly skilled in Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) procedures, with experience in apheresis (separating blood components), cellular therapy, and post-transplant care.
The non-surgical transplant procedure is akin to a blood transfusion. It involves stimulating the stem cells, present mainly in bone marrow, by medication to travel out into the blood. This process, called Peripheral Blood Stem Cell collection, is more common in stem cell transplants for cancer treatment than harvesting stem cells directly from the bone marrow for a BMT.
Welcoming the launch, Dr Tarek Dufan, Chief Medical Officer, American Hospital Dubai, said, “The stem cell transplant unit is another milestone in American Hospital Dubai’s commitment to delivering the most advanced healthcare to UAE and the region. Our cutting-edge Cancer Care Department has been a leader in oncology, and the stem cell unit expands our expertise in offering the latest cancer treatments and management.”
Dr Maroun El Khoury, Director of Cancer Centre, said, “American Hospital Dubai’s autologous stem cell transplant unit is the only one of its kind in the UAE. We have highly trained staff specialised in stem cell transplant and care management, excellent in-house laboratory services, radiation facilities, and psychological support systems to deliver a complete and compassionate care experience for patients.”
The unit, led by Dr Shabeeha K. Rana, Consultant Haematologist and Director of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy at American Hospital Dubai, includes Dr Maroun El Khoury, Director of Cancer Centre; Dr Faraz Khan, Consultant Haematologist/Oncologist; Dr Julieta Zuluaga, Specialist Haematology and Stem Cell Transplantation; Dr Mona Tareen, Pain Management/Palliative Care Consultant; and Dr Melanie Schlatter, Clinical Psychologist.
The unit will treat haematological cancers such as multiple myeloma, lymphoma, certain types of leukaemia and amyloidosis (build-up of a rare protein called amyloid in the body). In addition, it will treat non-haematological conditions such as germ cell tumours and autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s, and ulcerative colitis.
The unit provides patients with support groups who have undergone stem cell transplants as an invaluable psychological tool. Every opportunity is made available to patients to provide feedback, ask questions, and inform and educate themselves with written material resources and emotional support for pre-and post-treatment phases.
American Hospital Dubai’s stem cell transplant unit follows strict selection criteria before accepting patients to ensure the highest adherence to care quality, safety and efficacy.