Kochi: Cochin Cancer Research Centre (CCRC) is set to have a bone marrow transplant (BMT) unit in its first phase itself with CCRC Director Dr Moni Kuriakose taking the initiative to set it up early so that the aspirations of a vast number of patients struggling for a new life are met early.
According to sources, the executive committee of the CCRC has approved the proposal of the director in this regard and the Health Department too has given its approval for the same. The exact estimate for the project is being worked out by INKEL, the company that is undertaking the Rs 380 crore CCRC first phase. Once it is finalied, it will be submitted to KIIFB for funding and also for administrative sanction.
The rough estimate being calculated for the ancillary unit having bone marrow transplant wing and a treatment planning unit is Rs 40 crore. There is a general feeling that the ancillary project can be undertaken without any substantial addition to the existing Rs 380 crore initial outlay by saving cost in various stages of the implementation of the first phase. Already 10 percent low quoting has come for the civil works, which has come has a major boost in this direction and if unforeseen cost escalation does not come, the BMT project will not be a major burden on the state exchequer.
The area of the CCRC will go up to 6 lakh square feet from 5.30 lakh sq ft with the addition of the BMT unit. BMT is a special therapy for patients with certain cancers or other diseases. A bone marrow transplant involves taking cells that are normally found in the bone marrow (stem cells), filtering those cells, and giving them back either to the patient they were taken from or to another person.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was of the opinion that the BMT unit and drug research need to be considered only in the second phase but Dr Moni Kuriakose is understood to have impressed on him the need to change plans. CCRC is moving to start an incubator for drug research in association with Kerala Star-tup Mission even before the implementation of the first phase.