Comprehensive Stem Cell Transplants in Special Haematology Lab at Sunway Medical Centre
22 October 2022
Did you know that Sunway Medical Centre has one of the most comprehensive private haematology labs in Malaysia? Special haematology labs like ours play an important role in the analysis, processing, as well the cryopreservation and storage of stem cells. For patients with cancer or blood disorders, the transplantation of these into their bloodstream will restore the body's ability to create the healthy red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets it needs - giving them a new chance at life.
Over here, we got Ms Saraswathi Bai, Manager of Special Haematology to share with us more about what they do here for patients!
How Is Our Special Haematology Lab Different From The Rest?
Our special haematology lab is one of the most comprehensive compared to other private hospitals. Equipped with the latest facilities, infrastructure and an experienced team of experts, it offers many other tests that other private hospitals in the country do not.
In fact, according to Saraswathi, we’re the first private hospital in the nation to offer extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP), a cutting-edge procedure to treat complications that arise from bone marrow and stem cell transplants.
“Other private hospitals do send (their samples) to us for this procedure,” she shares.
“Whereas our patients are lucky in the sense they get it done here. They are in the best hands. They have the best consultants and haematologists (right here).”
How Will Patients Benefit From Getting Their Treatment Here?
With our comprehensive special haematology lab as well as treatments for leukaemia and other haematological and oncological diseases all under one roof, patients stand to enjoy a seamless experience here at Sunway Medical Centre.
For one, since everything is done in-house, patients will be able to get their results much faster, as the turnaround time is shorter.
Should the patient start experiencing symptoms of rejection from the stem cell transplant they received, they will be able to benefit from the ECP, which is not offered in any other private hospital.
Not only that, patients here stand to be able to get more detailed testing. Doctors can request further tests on the same sample immediately or within 24 hours, which is something that is quite impossible to do when tests are outsourced to other private laboratories.
That’s not all - the quality management of the sample is better. This is as factors that arise during transportation, like time and temperature, will often affect the integrity of the sample, which will also affect the test results.
What’s The Lab’s Role in the Stem Cell Transplant Process?
When it comes to stem cell transplants, our special haematology lab plays a major role in the processing as well as the cryopreservation and storage of stem cells.
First, in the ward, stem cells from the patient or donor will be collected via a process called apheresis, where their blood is passed through a machine that will separate it into its different components. And it is after collection that the stem cell laboratory’s work begins.
Upon collection, this will be brought down to the stem cell laboratory to be processed and then stored in a liquid nitrogen tank at about -196°C. These stem cells can be kept for as long as 10 years!
Once the patient is ready for the stem cell transplant, stem cells will be thawed and then infused into the patient’s bloodstream, where it will make its way to the bone marrow to produce new and healthy cells.