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BMT Home

The Bone Marrow Transplantation program for Sri Lanka, initiated in 2013, will ensure the establishment and ongoing operation of a Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit (BMTU) and a Bone Marrow Donor Registry (BMDR) attached to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) located in Maharagama, Sri Lanka. It will also include introduction of modern blood testing procedures relating to BMT, through the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS). St. Vincent’s Hospital Haematology unit in Sydney has offered to foster training, mentorship and professional development for this project. The aim is to make Sri Lanka self-sufficient in stem cell transplantation over a five year period. (read more..)

What is BMT?

BMT (Bone Marrow Transplantation), also commonly known as, HSCT (Haemopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation) is a procedure used to treat a number of blood and immune conditions. The procedure requires chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy (conditioning) to be delivered to a patient in order to destroy abnormal or malignant blood cells. Following conditioning, a patient is rescued by infusion of bone marrow stem cells which repopulate a new bone marrow. Bone marrow is the soft, fatty tissue inside your bones. Stem cells are immature cells in the bone marrow that give rise to all of your blood cells.(read more..)

Why BMT for Sri Lanka?

Currently, many patients needing BMT and allied services are compelled to go overseas primarily to India and Singapore incurring very high costs. These costs are due to many factors, such as travel and accommodation for the patient as well as for donors & carers, over and above the net cost of the treatment. Thus a BMT is not affordable for the average Sri Lankan. Establishment of a BMT unit will provide due care including the low income patients who cannot afford to seek overseas options. (read more..)

How can you help?

By Registering to be a Bone Marrow Donor (subject to physical and clinical requirements)

If you are in Sri Lanka you can register your interest by emailing to or through Contact Us, so we can get in touch with you when the register (SLBMDR) is established.

If you are in a country that has a Bone Marrow Donor Registry (eg: ABMDR in Australia) please contact your registry or the Red Cross closest to you.

For more information on Bone Marrow (Stem Cell) donation:

STEMM logo

Once Sri Lanka sets up its own Bone Marrow Donor Registry (STEMM), Sri Lankans will gain automatic access to the Bone Marrow Donors Worldwide (BMDW).

Latest News... 7 February, 2019

BMT Sri Lanka celebrates the 50th Bone Marrow Transplant at Nantional Cancer Institue

Apeksha giving hope to patients - Island -February 15, 2019 Bone marrow transplants successfully performed at Apeksha hospital Bone marrow transplants successfully performed at Apeksha hospital
The BMT Team with Dr. Sam Milliken, Head of the Heamatalogy Department, St. Vincent's hospital, Sydney and the receipients of BMT.
For More Information - Daily News paper articles (in English):
Allogeneic bone marrow transplants in Sri Lanka this year - February 11, 2019
A milestone in cancer cure - February 21, 2019
Ada Derana TV News (Video in Sinhala): 15th February 2019     7th February 2019

Bone marrow transplants successfully performed at Apeksha hospital
The first BMT patient at the celebration to mark the completion of one year with Dr. Prasad Abeysinghe and Ms Deepthika Kumari
Bone marrow transplants successfully performed at Apeksha hospital - December 28, 2017
(The Island - December 28, 2017)
Dinamina headlines - July 19th 2017
Chrisanthi Vitharana (Dinamina - July 19, 2017)
Daily News - July 19th 2017
- Chrisanthi Vitharana (DailyNews - July 19, 2017)

Another life-saving medical chapter takes its first steps.....

Soon patients in need of bone marrow transplantation will be able to seek treatment at a local state hospital...
- Smriti Daniel (Sunday Times - November 6, 2016)

Aubowewa - A Documentary on the first Bone Marrow Transplant at National Cancer Institute, Maharagama.
- Achini Wijesinghe (Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation - November 11, 2016)

For Richer or Poorer.....

More than two years ago, Associate Professor Moore, Professor Ma and the transplant team embarked on a journey to bring stem cell transplant technology to Sri Lanka; making this life-saving procedure accessible to all Sri Lankans, no matter what their means. The expertise, training and support they brought to Sri Lanka has proven invaluable. Life Support Blog - Prof. David Ma (St. Vincent's Hospital, Sydney-January 2017)
SVH team at NCI Sri Lanka

BMT -Press Conference at DHS SL
Press Conference held at the Ministry of Health, Colombo. For more details (in Sinhalese): Lanka CNews - October 29, 2016

Left to Right: Professor David Ma(Department of Haematology and BM transplantation, St Vincent's Hospital Sydney), Dr. R R M L R Siyambalagoda ( Acting Director General, Health Services), Dr. Wilfred Kumarasiri (Director, Apeksha Hospital, Maharagama), Dr. Prasad Abeysinghe (Consultant, Onclologist & BMT Team Leader, Apeksha Hospital, Maharagama).