Match Point

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India Today - - COVER STORY -

Cover Story Dr Gau­rav Kharya, 38, Se­nior Con­sul­tant Pe­di­atric He­ma­ton­col­ogy and Bone Mar­row Trans­plant, BLK Super Spe­cial­ity Hos­pi­tal

This young doctor was faced with the chal­leng­ing task of con­duct­ing a bone mar­row trans­plant (BMT) on a four month old baby. "The child was suf­fer­ing from se­vere im­mune de­fi­ciency. This is a con­di­tion where chil­dren are born with de­fi­cient im­mu­nity and are called 'Bub­ble ba­bies'. It was a very dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion. We sat down with the child's par­ents and de­cided of do­ing a half-matched BMT us­ing the fa­ther as a donor. We went ahead and did in­vitro T-cell de­pleted hap­loiden­ti­cal BMT for this child. He is now al­most two-and-ahalf years old and do­ing well. He was one of the youngest BMT re­cip­i­ent of this coun­try," says Dr Kharya. It was the hope of do­ing the ex­tra­or­di­nary that made Dr Kharya opt for spe­cial­is­ing in bone mar­row trans­plant. "While I was Dr Gau­rav Kharya do­ing my mas­ters from Sir Ganga Ram Hos­pi­tal, I saw pae­di­atric cancer pa­tients who re­ceived treat­ment and be­came bet­ter. This was in con­trast from my pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence where cancer was con­sid­ered to be death sen­tence and all kids di­ag­nosed with ma­lig­nancy used to die. This made me opt for pae­di­atric on­col­ogy and BMT," says the doctor who also did the first hap­loiden­ti­cal BMT for sickle cell dis­ease in the coun­try. Talk­ing about bone mar­row trans­plant in In­dia, Dr Kharya says, "We still do not know how to work as a group. If we plan to do multi cen­tre stud­ies, our data will be so rel­e­vant but some­how we still lack it. Also, the aware­ness about the dis­eases treated with BMT and the im­proved out­come of BMT in re­cent times has not per­co­lated deep in­side."

Pho­to­graph by CHANDRADEE­P KU­MAR

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