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The Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) set another milestone in medical history when it conducted an unrelated allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplantation for the first time in the country last November.

It was done on a 17-year-old Chinese male from Perak who was diagnosed with leukaemia in March 2005.

Through allogeneic transplant, a patient receives stem cells from someone other than the parents or siblings.

UMMC medical officer Dr Gan Shiaw Sze told reporters Thursday that the patient received the blood infusion from an unrelated donor from Singapore on Nov 29.

The youth was admitted to the UMMC on Nov 16, she said without revealing more information on the patient.

“We have attempted to search for a donor but there was no match among his siblings.

“Fortunately, a compatible donor was found from the Singapore Bone Marrow Donor Programme for the blood infusion,” she said Thursday.

She said that in view of the aggressive nature of the leukaemia, an unrelated allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplantation would be the only possible cure for the patient.

She said the patient remained well and had shown some improvement.

The transplantation cost between RM170,000 and RM200,000, she added.