The Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at Royal Manchester Children Hospital is a leading centre regionally, nationally and internationally; treating more than 50 children per year with blood disorders, cancers such as leukaemia, and genetic and metabolic diseases.
For some patients finding a donor match is difficult and the Transplant Team have no other option than to ask a parent to donate their stem cells. The harvested cells are then required to go through a process of manipulation by a Prodigy machine to ensure the cells are suitable for transplant, before the final blood stem cell product is given to the child. The Prodigy machine is also able to manipulate cells in different ways including gene therapy techniques which will also help the Unit in its future gene therapy protocols.
Currently parents have to travel to London to give their stem cell donation; where the cells are manipulated, before the final product is returned to Manchester to be given to the child as an infusion, often before the parent has returned.
We want to equip Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital with a Prodigy Machine of its own, to ensure that families do not need to be separated during an already distressing and anxious time. Having this machine would mean that parents could give their donation at Manchester Royal Infirmary, which is co-located with Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, therefore ensuring that families can stay together and that parents are able to be with their child during their infusion treatment.