Institute of Hematology, at the forefront of Cuban health care
BY MERCY RAMOS / PHOTOS: JOSÉ (TITO) MERIÑO
With over five decades of experience in Regenerative Medicine treatments, the Institute of Hematology and Immunology “Dr. José Manuel Ballester Santovenia” is the national reference center in this health discipline, currently among the most advanced in the world.
These procedures began in Cuba from 2004, with a multidisciplinary work team led by Doctor in Sciences Porfirio Hernández Ramírez, and are fundamentally based on the application of autologous stem cells (the individual’s own) from the bone marrow stroma. These move to peripheral blood through the application of granulocyte colony-stimulating factors such as nationally-produced LeucoCIM and Hebervital. Also, procedures are carried out by separating small stem cells, called VCells.
According to Dr. Sc. Consuelo Milagro Macías Abraham, director of the institution, this type of treatment is applied on the island in different orthopedic ailments such as knee osteoarthritis and necrosis of the femoral head with excellent results. In angiology, patients with lower limb ischemia and chronic lymphedema have been treated with favorable results as well.
In the times the world is living today and, of course, Cuba because of the pandemic that has been affecting everyone for months, this institute has played a determining role in the development of COVID-19 research both in preventive and therapeutic protocols and in convalescents.
In the case of regenerative medicine, the specialist continued, an observational phase 1 clinical trial has ended, consisting of treating convalescent patients with autologous stem cells, that is, extracted from the individual himself, isolated and re-infused intravenously in those patients who have recovered from the disease with lung lesions.
“This procedure has shown 100% absolute safety. There have been no adverse reactions and it has been effective in improving or reducing the post covid inflammatory lesions in most of the convalescents treated, therefore, we can say that the results have been beneficial”, he stated.
All this demonstrates the important role played by that institution, both in the treatments they have carried out within regenerative medicine, as well as in the most current research in the fight against SARS-CoV-2, placing it at the forefront of Cuban health.
PROGRAMS AND TREATMENTS
- Treatment of orthopedic disorders such as knee gonarthrosis and femoral head necrosis.
- Obtaining cells for the treatment of lower limb ischemia, chronic lymphedema, periodontitis, some muscular dystrophies and rachimedular trauma.