Hadassah

Hadassah Cures Mumbai Child of Thalassemia with Cutting-Edge Diagnosis

Thursday, Mar 26 2015

One day, Prof. Ariel Revel, head of the Ovum Donation and Fertility Preservation Program at the Hadassah Medical Center, was contacted by a professor from Mumbai, who had a one-year-old daughter with Thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder that threatened the quality of her life. Thanks to Hadassah’s state-of-the-art multi-stage intervention—including Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD), In-vitro Fertilization (IVF), and a bone marrow transplant—that little girl is now Thalassemia-free.

Thalassemia, characterized by the abnormal formation of hemoglobin, is particularly found in people of Mediterranean origin and is prevalent in Israel. In Thalassemia major, the abnormality results in improper oxygen transport and the destruction of red blood cells, causing significant complications such as bone deformities and heart disease. In addition, sufferers often need blood transfusions on a regular basis, resulting in iron overload.

If a person is only a carrier of the disorder (having only one recessive gene for it), the result is mild anemia. If both parents carry the recessive gene, 25 percent of their children will be born with Thalassemia major.

A bone marrow transplant can change the composition of the blood and the fate of a child born with Thalassemia major. The bone marrow donor, however, needs to be close in age, race, and ethnicity to the child. In addition, the donor must have matching human leukocyte antigen (HLA), a particular aspect of the blood type. After researching world databases, the father was told his best option was to have another child, who would hopefully be healthy and a compatible donor for the sister.

Thanks to PGD, this medical intervention is possible. Through PGD, physicians can check the embryos to see if the child will be healthy and an HLA match. When an embryo meeting the qualifications is found, it is implanted into the uterus and the pregnancy proceeds as usual. There are only a few countries in the world that perform these diagnostic tests and Israel is one of them, Prof. Revel said. The Mumbai couple chose to come to Hadassah.

Following ovarian stimulation, Prof. Revel and his team removed 19 eggs from the mother and fertilized them. They examined all resulting embryos through PGD and found two that were an HLA match; however, one was thalassemic. The other, fortunately, was heterozygous for the gene, like the parents, and therefore had only Thalassemia minor. The doctors transferred the embryo to the patient's uterus and a normal pregnancy was launched.

Nine months later, a healthy baby boy was born. When he was one year old, his bone marrow was extracted for transplantation into his sister, making her a healthy three-year-old girl.

Prof. Revel was able to visit the family during a recent professional trip to India. “I had the pleasure of seeing for myself the fruits of our endeavors,” he said. “What a great feeling!”

Comments

No comments yet.
First Name
Email
Comment
Enter this word:

Related Stories

alt_text

Monday, Apr 24 2017

Hadassah’s New Home Away from Home for Parents with Ill Children

Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus now houses Israel’s first Pediatric Palliative and Supportive Care Center, a home away from home for parents and their children with chronic or terminal diseases.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Monday, Apr 24 2017

Hadassah Surgeon Saves Hands of Border Guards

It was cold and dark outside the Lions Gate of the Old City at 4 am on March 13, the day on which Jerusalem citizens were celebrating Purim.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Thursday, Apr 13 2017

Mom Follows in Son’s Footsteps
as Kidney Donor

Meir Holtz donated his kidney to a stranger, not knowing that two months later his mom would follow in his footsteps.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Friday, Mar 31 2017

Aly’s Blog, Chapter Three: Pondering the Past Year and Hadassah’s Patient-Centered Approach

Hadassah is a little like the old fashioned telephone boxes, with the biggest challenge being to see how many people you could fit in! Hadassah--both staff and buildings--will fit you in, no matter what!

READ MORE ›

Donation Questions

donorservices@hadassah.org

(800) 928-0685

Membership Questions

membership@hadassah.org

(800) 664-5646

Missions Department

missions@hadassah.org

(800) 237-1517

Contact Us

40 Wall Street

New York, NY 10005

support@hadassah.org

More ›

Show More