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Pediatric Hematology and Oncology

Think like a proton, always positive

The Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology provides the best in class treatments for children with various blood disorders and cancers. The team members who will help care for your child include an elite team of pediatric physician oncologists and physicians along with consultants from other specialties. In addition, we have social workers, clinical dieticians, occupational and physical therapists, speech therapists, who are specially trained in pediatric care. The unit is also staffed with well trained, skilled, dedicated and experienced nursing staff to deal with chemotherapy and central lines, which is one of the main strength of the unit.

We have 24 hours backup with other subspecialties like Pediatric Surgery to manage solid tumors and support from ICU, Neurology and Nephrology departments to manage sick children. We also have the support from clinical psychologist to help families and patients deal with the stress associated with these diseases.

The Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology provides the highest quality care for the following cases:

Different types of malignancies

  1. Acute leukemia (blood cancer), Lymphomas (lymph node cancer)
  2. Solid tumors like neuroblastoma, brain tumors, Wilms tumor (from kidney), germ cell tumors, hepatoblastoma (liver related), rhabdomyosarcomas, Ewing’s sarcoma and Osteosarcoma (from bone), and other soft tissue sarcomas

Various Hematological Conditions (Blood related)

  1. Different types of refractory anemias like remitting relapsing auto immune hemolytic anemias requiring Rituximab
  2. Hemoglobonopathies, and other inherited anemias, nutritional anemias
  3. Chronic immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) requiring second line medications including rituximab
  4. Aplastic anemias (those which require Immuno Suppressive Therapy with antithymocyte globulin (ATG) and cyclosporine (CsA)

About Service
FAQ's
Is childhood cancer incidence on raise?

Worldwide, approximately, 2,15,000 cancers are diagnosed per year in Children less than 15 years age. Every year more than 45, 000 to 50,000 new pediatric cancer cases are getting registered in India (there may be some more     un-diagnosed or unregistered cases). In west, it is leading cause of death after accidents, as infection related deaths are rare over there. Incidence of pediatric cancer is increasing in India as per National cancer registry Programme data (2009 to 2011 data Vs  2011 to 2014). However, the overall proportion of childhood cancer relative to cancers in all age groups has marginally reduced.

 

Do you know whether childhood cancers are treatable?

Yes, they are very well treatable. Outcomes of cancer mainly depends on staging of the Tumor in case of solid tumors and in case of Blood cancers it depends on whether it is high risk or low risk (as per risk stratification) .
With increasing usage of modern chemotherapy protocols in India along with good supportive care(with antibiotics, Blood products, Nutrition support , pain management and multidisciplinary approach) , advanced techniques in Surgery and Radiotherapy- majority of the Pediatric malignancies Like Acute leukemias, and early stage solid tumors carries excellent prognosis , resulting in 80% to 90 % longterm survival rates .

 

What are the symptoms of childhood cancer?

Most common pediatric cancer is acute leukemia (blood cancer in common language ), followed by CNS tumours , Lymphomas, Neuroblastomas (from nerve tissue), Bone tumors, Rhabdomyosarcoma (Muscle) and soft tissue sarcomas, Wilms Tumour  (kidney) , Hepatoblastoma (liver) etc. 
Symptoms of cancer depend on type of cancer. Most common cancer like acute leukemia presents with ongoing fever, bone pains or joint pains, bleeding evidence, pallor, liver and splenic enlargement, lymphadenopathy etc. However, some of these symptoms can also occur with other disorders, which doctor should be able to differentiate based on clinical examination, complete blood picture along with smear review. Solid tumours presents with symptoms depending on where they originate from, with pressure symptoms in surrounding areas. If required, one has to go for further tests like Biopsy of the tumor tissue, Bone marrow aspiration etc to confirm cancer.

 

When do we need Stem cell transplantation?

Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is done to treat various oncological , hematological,Metabolic and genetic conditions like 
1. Relapsed or High-risk blood cancers (leukemia)
2. Stage IV or Relapsed solid tumours (neuroblastoma, brain tumours, lymphomas etc)
3. Transfusion dependent hemolytic anemia (like Thalassemia major etc)
4. Aplastic anemia (Marrow failure syndromes)
5. Primary immunodeficiency disorders
6. Genetic conditions/ Inborn errors of metabolism/storage disorders etc.

The goal of a stem cell transplant is to transfuse healthy bone marrow cells into child after unhealthy bone marrow / primary disease is suppressed with conditioning regimen.
BMT Unit at Rainbow Childrens hospital, Banjara hills, Hyderabad
Rainbow children’s hospital now has a state of art Pediatric Bone marrow transplant unit (BMTU).
Unit designed as per the latest technology and recommended norms:

  • HEPA (High efficiency particulate air module) filters, to maintain positive air pressure inside the unit and to filter particles.
  • Pass boxes, to sterilize the items including food which are being taken into the BMTU.
  • Laminar hood, for sterile preparation of medications.
  • RO water for all purpose use in the BMTU.
  • All these along with one to one barrier nursing and round the clock availability of trained doctors ensure a high success rate and very good patient outcome.
  • In house blood bank facility 

 

Pediatric Hematology Oncology experience at Rainbow children’s hospital, Banjara hills, Hyderabad?

Over last 10 years more than 950 malignancies (Hematological malignancies like ALL, AML and solid tumors) have been diagnosed and treated in Rainbow children’s hospital, Banjara Hills , Hyderabad. In addition to that, many hematological problems like Refractory anemias, Aplastic anemias,  Bleeding diathesis , Immunodeficiencies, HLH and all get treated here .
With usage of modern chemotherapy regimens, good supportive care (antibiotics/ nutrition  support/ blood product support/ effective pain relief) along with dedicated pediatric oncology nursing staff and doctors   results in our Institutre are at par with western countries.

 

What are the myths of childhood cancer?

General population Myth is cancer is not curable and in children cancer doesn’t occur , however – both the beliefs are wrong. Cancer do occur in children, including neonates and majority of them are curable. At the same time people attribute cancers to be secondary to sins of family or individual, once again it is completely wrong .There is also a wrong belief by general population that by staying with cancer patient , they may also get cancer, which is also completely wrong. 

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