| | General Paediatrics | Cardiology | Endocrinology & Metabolism | Haematology & Oncology |
| Immunology, Rheumatology & Infection | Neurology, Developmental Paediatrics & Neurohabilition |
| Paediatric Intensive Care & Neonatology |
Bone Marrow Transplant Programme (骨髓移植)
Overall, 65% of patients survive the transplantation and most of them are expected to be long-term survivors. The survival rate of patients with non-cancerous diseases (73%) is higher than that of those with cancerous diseases (54%). The cure rate for thalassaemia major reached 80% with improved conditioning regimen. The seven children who received cord blood from their siblings were all cured. Despite rarity, bone marrow transplantation achieved good cure rate, 78%, in patients with marrow aplasia.
Strength & Development
For clinical service, we continue to work for better care of our patients. To accommodate the need of our patients, we are switching the focus from in-patient care to ambulatory care. Besides, we plan to improve the ward environment and upgrade the facilities, including better isolation to reduce cross infection.
There is close multi-leveled collaboration within our hospital and the University. Within our own department, close cooperation exists between the University and hospital staffs, and between members of different subspecialty teams. Outside the department, we have actively collaborated with other departments, all work towards common goals. Cancer is one of the main foci of research in this University. Hence, the Hong Kong International Cancer Congress (HKICC), an annual venture jointly organized by different departments of the University is precisely targeted at cancers. In our unit, there have been track records of active researches on different aspects of thalassaemia. This hospital runs the biggest service in blood and marrow transplant, which involves multidiscipline. Through joint effort, we aim at improving the care of patients and enhancing the productivity of researches. In addition, we continue to strengthen our collaboration with hospitals outside our own cluster, and our link with institutes in China Mainland and overseas.
Research/ Grant & Awards
As part of a University department, our team is always actively teaching and training medical students, medical trainees and postgraduate students. We have frequent clinical and academic interaction with professionals from local, Mainland China and overseas countries. Our team members have been actively collaborated with other departments of Queen Mary Hospital and paediatric departments of other hospitals in carrying out researches. The 3 areas of focus are thalassaemia, childhood cancer and stem cell transplantation. Over the past 3 years, our team has published 44 journal papers and was awarded with research grants of more than HK$ 4.5 millions. Six research students (5 MPhil and 1 PhD) are currently under our supervision and another 2 MPhil students have already graduated over the past 2 years.
Our main fields of research interest are as followings:
We focus on the correlation between the genotype and phenotype of various thalassaemia syndromes; clinical trials on a new therapy for iron overload (i.e. oral chelator); new modality in monitoring iron overload (i.e. MRI assessment of visceral iron storage); improvement of supportive care (i.e. use of thalaset needle, quality of life evaluation, osteoporosis study) and transplantation (i.e. reduced intensity conditioning, cord blood transplant).
b. Childhood Cancers
We target at 2 common groups of childhood malignancies, namely, acute myeloid leukaemia/ myelodysplastic syndrome and neurogenic tumours (brain tumours and neuroblastoma). Dr. SY Ha and Dr. GCF Chan are the respective protocol coordinators of the Hong Kong Paediatric Haematology and Oncology Study Group responsible for these two groups of diseases. By in-vivo and in-vitro studies, we have been examining the use of novel agents or immunotherapy (i.e. arsenic trioxide, anti-GD2, etc.) in the treatment of these cancers. We also target at various clinical studies including the management of neutropenic fever, QOL evaluation, and anti-emetic treatment. As a city meeting East and West, we also look into the impact of traditional Chinese medicine on cancer by performing in-vitro & in-vivo studies (i.e. local prevalence on use of Chinese herbs, immunological and cytotoxic effects of Lingzhi extracts).
c. Blood and marrow Transplantation
In our clinical studies, we have been exploring the use of new conditioning regimens, non-myeloablative approach and different stem cell sources (i.e. cord blood, peripheral blood stem cells, haploid identical donor). On the laboratory side, we are currently investigating the biological and immunological behaviour of marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells and its role in engraftment.
Within the Department, our team works closely with other subspecialty teams both in clinical services and research. In particular, we partner up with the Immunology/ Rheumatology/ Infectious disease team for delivering the clinical service and running the transplantation programme. Outside the Department, we have close collaboration with colleagues from surgical, radiotherapy and pathology departments in delivering the clinical services and pursuing research.
We are an active member of the local collaborative study group, Hong Kong Paediatric Haematology/ Oncology Study Group. Within the Study Group, we share common treatment protocols for most of the childhood cancers and review the regimens regularly. Our treatment results are comparable to those from overseas.
Many other professionals are also involved in the provision of support to our patients and their families. These include nurses, social workers, psychologists, play specialists, and many others. Charitable organizations, including the Children's Cancer Foundation (CCF) and Children's Thalassaemia Foundation (CTF) have also provided unfailing support and resources in the improvement of research and clinical services. In the last 2 years, with the assistance from the CCF, we have established a palliative care team, which has been providing both in-patient, and home care services for children in the terminal phase of their illnesses. The Children's Catastrophic Disease Foundation (CCDF) is a newly established charitable organization, which also supports some of our needy patients who are not financed by other charitable bodies.
Patients and their families are our important partners as well. The "Sunbeam Club" is a support group formed by parents and patients with cancer or blood diseases. For the 10 years that the group has been established, it has been helping new patients and parents to face the challenges of the illnesses. The thalassaemic patient/ parents group has also been active for many years and made valuable contribution.