I have a thalassemic child with match sibling but is Hepatitis C positive, can they be treated by Bone Marrow Transplantation? If yes, what will be the risks?

Unfortunately many children in poor countries still get Hepatitis C virus (HCV) from multiple transfusions, however, bone marrow transplant outcome is not influenced by this infection. Actually BMT may be even more indicated because HCV worsen liver damage due to iron overload. If Hepatitis C, if still active two years after transplant, it should be treated and followed closely.
Nowadays with affective direct anti-viral therapy with sofosfbuvir and other drugs, thalassemic patients with high HCV RNA copy numbers in blood and increased liver enzymes may be treated before BMT.

These answers have been prepared by:
- Dr. Lawrence Faulkner, Cure2Children medical team coordinator
- Dr. Sadaf Khalid, Cure2Children Pakistan branch coordinator