Sidra Medicine, a QF entity, announced the upcoming establishment of the first-ever pediatric hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) program in Qatar, in partnership with one of the world's leading pediatric hospitals, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).

To initiate the launch of the HSCT program at Sidra Medicine, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Sidra Medicine and CHOP's Cellular Therapy and Transplant Section (CTTS). CHOP's CTTS will offer Sidra Medicine its HSCT/BMT expertise, provide a robust education plan for the hospital's clinical staff, and assess patient readiness for HSCT treatment protocols.

Dr. Ahmed Al Hammadi, Acting Chief Medical Officer and Executive Chair of Pediatrics at Sidra Medicine, said: "As a leader in specialist pediatric care in Qatar and the region, Sidra Medicine is proudly working alongside the top international health and research organizations to enhance our expertise in precision medicine. It is truly a milestone that we will be launching Qatar's first pediatric HSCT program, with a world-class institution like CHOP, to provide our patients with the most advanced and effective treatment options. Taking our renowned multidisciplinary approach, different pediatric specialties will coordinate and work as a single unit to offer holistic and excellent care to our patients."

The HSCT program at Sidra Medicine is anticipated to open in late 2024. The program will treat patients with various blood diseases and cancers including sickle cell disease, thalassemia, leukemia, lymphoma, solid tumors. In addition, it will be used for the treatment of primary immune deficiencies, metabolic diseases, and certain genetic and autoimmune disorders.

Speaking at the event, Ruth Frey, Vice President of Global Strategy and Business Development at CHOP, said: "CHOP is dedicated to improving health outcomes for children across the world. We are thrilled about this collaboration and the opportunity to offer CHOP's BMT expertise to support Sidra Medicine's launch of the first-ever pediatric BMT program in Qatar."

Sidra Medicine is the only hospital in Qatar to provide pediatric hematology and oncology care for children and young people with cancer and blood disorders. The hospital sees approximately 70 to 100 cases of childhood cancer cases every year, with leukemia, central nervous system tumors and lymphoma amongst the most common.

HSCT (also referred to as Bone Marrow Transplant BMT) is often used to treat critically ill patients with cancer, non-malignant blood disorders and metabolic and genetic conditions. The procedure entails replacing a child's diseased or damaged bone marrow cells with their own healthy stem cells, or that of a donor.
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