Abu Dhabi, May 27 2021: Tawam Hospital, part of Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, (SEHA), successfully treated an 11-year-old girl named Mayar who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a type of blood and bone marrow cancer.
Dr. Anwar Salam, Group Chief Medical Officer, SEHA, said: “As part of our commitment at SEHA to provide the community with world-class care, the oncology center at Tawam Hospital is led by an integrated multidisciplinary team of consultant doctors and qualified specialists, and the latest technologies to appropriately diagnose and provide treatment. The latest success story of treating an 11-year-old with acute lymphoblastic leukemia serves as testament to the quality of expertise and services available within the network that serves the wider UAE community.”
Mayar visited Tawam Hospital in April 2017 where she was diagnosed with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow — the spongy tissue inside bones where blood cells are made. As part of her treatment plan, Mayar started chemotherapy, which lasted for approximately 2 years. The young girl however continued to face challenges as she was diagnosed with relapse acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The medical team at Tawam Hospital continued to treat the relapsed acute leukemia but her bone marrow evaluation indicated the continuation of more than 15 percent abnormal cells.
The team began preparing Mayar for a bone marrow transplant and started her treatment plan by prescribing Blinatumomab, an injection used to treat B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in remission with minimal residual disease (MRD). The 11-year-old received this treatment continuously for 28 days after which her bone marrow evaluation revealed no abnormal cells and no remaining cancer cells. Another round of Blinatumomab was administered before she travelled to Jordan for a bone marrow transplant from a relative.
Dr. Mohammed Faisal Khanani, Head of Pediatric Oncology and Hematology, Tawam Hospital, said: “The highly qualified team of medical professionals and availability of advanced technology as part of the Department of Pediatric Oncology and Hematology at Tawam Hospital ensured Mayar received best-in-class care. I am immensely grateful and proud of the entire team for their commitment in successfully treating this young girl.”
Mayar's father said, “A cancer diagnosis is always feared, especially in children. As parents, we were in great shock, it shook our world, but the treatment opportunities and recovery rate gave us hope. More than 85% of children with acute lymphoblastic get cured with current treatment modalities – this helped us stay positive throughout the process. Undergoing treatment is a challenging phase as your child faces difficulties. My daughter fought and has won, she now dreams to become a doctor to help others like her.”
The department of Pediatric Oncology and Hematology at Tawam Hospital encounters 5,000 pediatric patients in 2020, who presented with tumor and cancerous conditions.