With the aim of reducing the waiting period of paediatric cancer patients in need of a bone marrow transplant, the Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH) in Parel (Central Mumbai) has partnered with three city hospitals – Wadia Hospital, SRCC Hospital (Haji Ali) and BMC-run Comprehensive Thalassemia Centre (Borivli). Though nearly two hundred children with different cancers register for bone marrow transplant (BMT) with TMH every year, TMH is able to cater to only 25 yearly. But in 2022, a hundred children successfully underwent bone marrow transplant, thanks to tie-ups with other hospitals
Dr. Girish Chinnaswamy, Head of Paediatric Oncology Dept., said the idea to collaborate with other centres was to deliver timely treatment to the patients and that the above mentioned three hospitals shared a common database of children that require BMT. “We have a weekly meeting wherein we allocate the patients in these centres,” he said. Though the parents were initially hesitant to go to other centres for treatment, they are now willing as the transplants are done at TMH rates. Earlier, the waiting period for BMT at Tata was six months to one year.
Certain drugs are provided by TMH for the children sent to other centres. With this arrangement, no BMT beds go vacant at these centres. Dr. Chinnaswamy also said that Mumbai’s paediatric oncology community has been working together to design the best treatment and this network for BMT is an example of the same, as collaborative work helps in designing the best treatment with best research.