The haematology oncology service at the Mater Cancer Care Centre treats a wide range of haematological diseases, including:
acute and chronic leukaemias
Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas
non-malignant haematological autoimmune diseases
clotting and bleeding disorders.
The autologous stem cell transplantation unit at Mater includes a NATA accredited cryopreservation laboratory for the collection, storage, and re-infusion of peripheral blood haematopoietic stem cells. The unit provides a team approach, the most up to date chemotherapy schedules, and on-site access to radiation therapy, intensive care unit, CT scanner, and MRI imaging and pathology.
Haematology oncology treatment options
Chemotherapy is the use of anti-cancer drugs. Chemotherapy is toxic to cancer cells more than to normal cells. The drugs stop the cancer cells from growing and therefore reduce the amount of tumour.
Usually, several courses of chemotherapy are required to eradicate the malignant cells as much as possible, while the normal cells are allowed to recover between courses. In this way, maximum benefit can be derived while limiting side effects.
Chemotherapy medicines used in the treatment of cancer may be taken as tablets or, more commonly, given by intravenous drip directly into a vein.
Central venous access is often used to improve drug administration when given intravenously.
Haematopoietic stem cell transplantation may be used to increase the doses of chemotherapy and improve survival of some patients diagnosed with haematological malignancies, especially multiple myeloma or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Growth factors are injected after chemotherapy to hasten blood count recovery. This is important in keeping cancer therapy on track, and preventing delays.
Radiotherapy uses x-rays to kill cancer cells, which are generally more sensitive to radiation than normal cells.
These x-rays can be targeted to more localised cancer sites in your body, to improve local tumour control.
Radiotherapy is effective for the relief of bone pain caused by multiple myeloma, helps to prevent the bone fractures, and may also relieve other conditions such as pressure on the spinal cord. Treatment is carefully planned to do as little harm as possible to normal body tissues. Radiotherapy is generally given in multiple fractions to reduce toxicity to normal tissues.
Some valuable websites for accessing haematology oncology information include: