The aim was to develop comprehensive haematology services for patients with the entire range of haematological diseases. In beginning therefore, the emphasis was on establishing technology and standardizing practices related to management of anemias, haemostatic disorders, transfusion medicine and the care of people with haematological malignancies in a way that was not available in the country. The challenge was to introduce state of the art protocols for care, for patients with acute leukemias and those requiring stem cell transplants.
The department of Haematology is involved in the treatment of the entire spectrum of haematological malignancies. This includes all acute and chronic leukemia’s. We also treat all subtypes of lymphoma’s and myeloma’s. All efforts are made to integrate modern technology in a cost effective manner to treat all patients. Some of the highlights of this area of work can be summarized under the different malignant conditions we treat:
Beginning in 1986 we have developed the largest and most sought after stem cell transplantation service in the country. While we do about 110 allogeneic transplants every year for wide range of haematological diseases, the major indications for allogenic transplants are beta thalassemia major, bone marrow failure syndromes such as aplastic anemia and myeloidysplastic syndromes and acute myeloid and lymphoblastic leukemias. Autologus transplants are mainly done for patients with myeloma and relapsed lymphomas.
In 2008, we moved into a new transplant unit with 10 beds. It is a model on which many other such units have been designed in India. Apart from allowing us to consolidate our services, we have also been able to initiate a regular program for transplants using alternative donors (other than matched related), using international donor registries to identify matched unrelated donors as well as haplo-identical donors from the family. This way many more patients who could not benefit from this form or treatment earlier can now be helped. This is another area where from the department are internationally noted.
Apart from these services specially mentioned above, the department also provides start of the art care for patients with haematological malignancies, particularly acute and chronic leukemias. Children and adults from all over India and some neighboring countries also get referred here particularly if initial treatment at their local countries has failed.
In all these services clinical work is complemented by many laboratory tests utilizing molecular genetics, immunophenotyping and cytogenetic techniques towards the diagnosis and management of various heritable genetic disorders, haematological malignancies and bone marrow failure syndromes. Our work and the clinical care we provide would just not be the same without them.