In the past two decades, the number of bone marrow transplants carried out at the National Institute of Medicine and Nutrition has increased 10 times, convincing the Ministry of Health.
In this period, 363 transplants were carried out, where survival increased by 60 percent and the mortality of transplant patients significantly reduced, explained Eucario León Rodríguez, coordinator of the Department of Hematology and Oncology and who was responsible for the Transplantation Program. from Hematopoietic Progenitor Cells from this institution.
He said that this was thanks to modification of care and coverage with Seguro Popular.
León Rodríguez explains that hematopoietic progenitor cell transplantation is a procedure in which these types of blood cells are transfused into the bone marrow, to treat diseases such as leukemia, lymphoma, aplastic anemia and multiple myeloma, among others.
He explained that before, when such diseases were diagnosed, chemotherapy, radiotherapy or both were given to remove the diseased bone marrow.
However, it was observed that internationally determined chemotherapy doses to treat this problem were too toxic for patients, so it was decided to adjust it and it was reduced between 15 and 20 percent of the treatment schemes for malignant haematological diseases.
Likewise, we began using a technique that consisted of stimulating the bone marrow of the same patient to get new cells to be transplanted; This is known as autotransplantation.
Whereas allografts are when progenitor cells are extracted from genetically compatible donors, such as parents or siblings.
On the other hand, he pointed out that the main problem faced by patients who need a bone marrow transplant is the cost, a situation that was resolved two years ago when Seguro Popular incorporated this intervention into the Catastrophic Expenditure Fund.
At present, 90 percent of the types of transplants performed by institutes no longer represent the costs incurred for patients, he said.