Virtual launch of the KKH Children’s Blood and Cancer Centre in February 2022. Clockwise from centre: Madam Goh Chiat Jin, Director, Goh Foundation Limited; Prof Alex Sia, CEO, KKH; Assoc Prof Ng Kee Chong, Chairman, Medical Board, KKH; Prof Leung Wing Hang, Director, KKH Children’s Blood and Cancer Centre, KKH; and Prof Soo Khee Chee, Chairman, Goh Foundation Limited.
A new KKH Children’s Blood and Cancer Centre (CBCC) has been established to advance research, education and complex care for blood and cancer disorders in babies and children.
Launched in February 2022, the CBCC is one of the most comprehensive paediatric blood and cancer centres in Southeast Asia, focusing on basic science and translational research in childhood cancers, and clinical research in paediatric blood and cancer disorders.
“Research is key in improving outcomes in childhood blood and cancer disorders. As these conditions are rare, with majority of them having unknown causes, multi-centre and international collaborations are important to advance cures and improve our young patients’ health outcomes,” says Professor Leung Wing Hang, Director, CBCC, who is also Visiting Consultant, Haematology/Oncology Service, KKH.
Holistic, individualised treatments
“Cancers in children can be broadly classified as blood cancers, brain tumours and solid tumours. Building on decades of cancer research at KKH, the CBCC will bring us a step closer toward enabling every patient to receive holistic, individualised and targeted treatment,” shares
Dr Soh Shui Yen, Head and Senior Consultant, Haematology/Oncology Service, KKH.
The CBCC is led by a multidisciplinary team of paediatric oncology specialists in paediatric haematology/oncology paediatric surgical oncology, neurosurgery, radiation oncology, pathology and molecular pathology, diagnostic and interventional imaging, nuclear medicine, nursing and allied health professionals.
The centre provides holistic care for paediatric oncology patients diagnosed with various types of leukaemia and lymphoma, embryonal brain tumours, high and low-grade gliomas, neuroblastoma, childhood liver and renal tumours, bone tumours, soft tissue sarcomas and rare malignancies.
Global research and advanced therapies
The CBCC uses the latest treatment protocols of international childhood tumour study groups such as for liver and kidney tumours, and is the only participating site in Southeast Asia to do so. It also provides pathology and molecular pathology consultations for challenging and rare childhood cancers in the region.
Beyond clinical treatment, the CBCC houses the Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy (BMTCT) programme, which has been providing bone and marrow transplantation for children with malignant and non-malignant conditions since 1998. The availability of advanced donor graft manipulation techniques and excellent supportive care further increase the potential for more eligible donors and cures for patients.
Since 2020, the BMTCT programme offers chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy for patients with relapsed refractory haematologic malignancies, with two approved clinical trials recruiting eligible patients. Rapid advances in the cellular therapy field will enable CAR T cell therapy to be a safer and more cost-effective treatment, and benefit more patients with different types of cancer.
The KKH Childhood Cancer Survivorship Programme also provides holistic follow-up and care for childhood cancer survivors, and collects longitudinal health data to inform care and support. Any patient with a history of childhood cancer or cancer/transplant treatment during childhood can be referred to the programme.