foresee a paradigm shift in mother & child care in the years ahead!
Hyderabad, December , 2018: The two-day National Cradle Conference 2018 – a one of its kind International conference on Obstetrics, Gynaecology, Fertility & Neonatology, being jointly hosted by the Apollo Hospitals, Apollo Cradle and Apollo Fertility, was formally inaugurated by Dr Prathap C. Reddy, Chairman, Apollo Hospitals Group. Some of the World renowned practitioners in Mother and child care, attending the Conference, Dr. Seang Lin Tan, Prof. of Obstetrics and Gynecology, McGill University, Canada; Dr. Wise Young, Founding Director, W. M. Keck Center for Collaborative Neuroscience, New Jersey, USA; Prof. Sailesh Kumar, Head of the Mother’s, Babies and Women Health research, University of Queensland, Australia; Dr. Sandeep Sharma, Consultant in Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Leeds Cancer Center, UK; Dr. Hima Bindu Avatapalle, Consultant Paediatric Endocrinologist, Leeds Teaching Hospitals, UK; briefed media about the latest developments and the advances these fields are likely to witness in the near future, at a Press Meet on Sunday.
World renowned specialists attending National Cradle Conference
Speaking on the occasion Dr. Wise Young said, clinical trials are being conducted in China for treating spinal cord injuries with the umbilical cord blood, where in the mononuclear cells from umbilical cord blood are transplanted in the spinal cords of patients with spinal cord injury. In all 41 patients were treated, one-third of them were transplanted with the cells in the cervical area and two-third in the thoracic area. In 75% of these spinal cord injury patients, the area below the injury has become functional with most of them walking in a year’s time, regained bladder function and in several of them their sexual function is back. If successful this can provide succour to the 3mn people with spinal cord injury in the world and in India alone 500000 spinal cord injury patients will benefit. In India out of around 90,000 births per day only 5% umbilical cord blood is collected, the other 95% is thrown away, which can be put to use with this. Therefore we need to collect all of the umbilical cord blood in India. We have taken 16 top Indian spinal surgeons to China to familiarise them with this technique. We have applied for clinical trials with the Drug Controller General of India for permission and on approval will be conducting trials at the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai; Apollo Hospitals, Chennai and Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital, Mumbai, for feasibility. There are several other very useful things from the umbilical cord blood, according to a recent study at Stanford University on mice, the proteins in umbilical cord blood could treat Alzheimers. Therefore there is a great need to not to waste umbilical cord blood.
Prof. Sailesh Kumar, who specialises in foetal medicine, said there are lot of exciting developments in the foetal therapy with aspects like blood being transfused in to the foetus at an early stage of the pregnancy and stem cell treatment being provided for genetic conditions. Miniaturisation of instruments is going to be a big thing in future, as currently one of the big risks of any procedure during pregnancy is the risk of premature labour, so although the procedure might be successful the baby might be born at a very early gestation. Improvements in the instrumentation we use, will certainly reduce the risk of pre-term labour.
Dr. Sandeep Sharma said, the changes are in the chemotherapy field, there are new markers, new drugs, which work a different way, they change the way the cells die and the cells live, so ovarian cancer has got newer drugs, further drugs are in the pipeline to work on the immune system. But the focus is on how to prevent cancer, yes we are trying to get better at treating cancer, but we will be even if we can prevent cancer in the first place. Most of the western world has seen a reduction of the cancer of the cervix, so much so that there are only few centers to treat cervical cancers in UK. Unfortunately still very very high in India and I see a big opportunity there in preventing cervical cancer. One of the things which has come in the last few years is the vaccine against cervical cancer. This vaccine has to be given to young girls before they start sexual life, so that they can avoid cancer. We started doing this in UK ten years ago and expect to see a further reduction in cervical cancer in the next ten years. It would be a good thing to consider vaccinating children when they are 12 or 14 years before they are exposed to the HPV virus. Getting a pap smear test done before cancer develops, a very simple test. With the resources and training in India, we should be in a position to prevent cervical cancer.
Dr. Hima Bindu Avatapalle says, as a Paediatric Endocrinologist we treat children with hormone problems, like too tall or short, thyroid problems puberty problems, low and high blood glucose levels and obesity. one of the common problems in children is the type 1 Diabetes, for which we have newer fast acting insulin, the way we give insulin has changed massively with insulin pumps, dual pump etc. Also we have counteractive hormones to stop any side effects from insulin therapy. Lot of clinical trials are on in UK on artificial pancreas, this is where a sensor tests the blood glucose levels and gives insulin depending on what the child’s blood glucose level is, it basically takes over the child’s pancreas function. Another problem we are trying to tackle is obesity, as there are several co-morbidities and complications like heart disease, hypertension, joint problems, reduced life expectancy associated with it.
Dr Hima Bindu also said, that the other issue in UK as of now is Gender Dysphoria, where the child is unhappy with its gender and desires to change the sex. It’s a psychiatric diagnosis, they go through extensive psychological evaluation of over 18 months before coming for gender change. By administering cross hormones gender change is done. We receive on an average six to seven cases a month for Gender Dysphoria and more girls than boys are preferring to change their sex for reasons best known to them. Another significant care is the ‘Transition’ which is the adolescent medicine, adolscents are not adults and need special care, the way you talk to them is important, counsel them is important to lead them through the transition.
Dr. Seang Lin Tan said, one of the latest things in IVF is genetic therapy of embryos, where we screen for the best embryo without genetic abnormalities of diseases like heart problem, cancer and fertilise them to reduce the risk of incidence of the diseases. This can especially be of benefit to those with a family history of chronic diseases, such families can go for this method instead of a normal delivery. Another area which could become popular is freezing of embryos. Unlike men who can produce quality sperms even when they are old, women are born with a few thousand eggs and best eggs are produced when they are young. Due to modern life as the marriage age gets postponed, one can freeze the embryo and at the right time use them and have a healthy baby. In USA many companies are paying their employees for freezing of embryos to postpone the pregnancy. Also in some medical condition like needing chemotherapy, the woman can freeze the embryo prior to the treatment and have a healthy baby post treatment.
The Conference will focus on advances in the field of Fertility, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Neonatology with eminent faculties from across India and other countries showcasing the latest trends. This is an effort to bring multi-disciplinary focus on these specialties in an endeavour to make all aware about the team effort and multi-disciplinary approach required to ensure optimal clinical outcomes for both mother and child. The Conference is in partnership with National Neonatology Foundation (NNF), Paediatric Academy of Telangana State (PATS) and Obstetrics & Gynaecological Society of Hyderabad (OGSH). Five International and eighty National speakers will be enlightening the delegates over the next 2 days on varied topics of significance.