Paediatric Oncology at SKMCH&RC, Lahore
The Paediatric Oncology Department at Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (SKMCH&RC), Lahore takes a broad range of approximately 550-650 new childhood cancers of all major types every year. Rare types of cancers are also accepted for treatment on a case-to-case basis. These patients are then given the most up-to-date treatment following international protocols. Around 13,000 outpatient appointments were entertained last year to evaluate those who were undergoing treatment and to ensure desired follow-up for patients who had completed their treatment. Departmental faculty comprises of consultants and senior instructors trained at well-reputed national and international hospitals.
A child with cancer needs very special attention: good medical care and constant nurturing in addition to unconditional support for his or her family. At SKMCH&RC, our team of consultant paediatric oncologists, hospitalists, senior instructors, fellows, medical officers, nurses and administrative staff work together to provide state-of-the-art, comprehensive and compassionate care.
All patients at SKMCH&RC are assessed in a multidisciplinary conference where a team of paediatric oncologists, radiation oncologists, paediatric surgeons, pathologists and radiologists work together to prepare a personalised treatment plan for each individual patient. Patients are then treated in accordance with disease-specific internationally-accepted management guidelines. The aim is not only to provide cancer treatment but also to improve the lives of those who receive it.
SKMCH&RC, Lahore is amongst few hospitals in the country to offer autologous bone marrow transplant treatment for lymphoma and solid tumours. This service has reported excellent results since its inception in 2009. Allogeneic-Bone marrow transplant commenced in 2019 in Malignant Haematology and is offered to patients who are eligible for this treatment. Our transplant programme is supported by state-of-the-art apheresis equipment, HEPA filtered and negative air pressured isolation rooms and excellent laboratory facilities.
Inpatients: The Paediatric Oncology department has a dedicated 34-bed Inpatient unit with an average of 28-35 children admitted at any given time. Intensive care unit (ICU) facility is also available for children requiring such care, led by paediatric intensivists.
Emergency Assessment Room: SKMCH&RC, Lahore provides 24/7 emergency care by a dedicated team.
Chemotherapy Bay: The department has a 10-beded unit where outpatient chemotherapy is provided to 40-50 patients every day.
Clinics: Outpatient clinics for cancer patients are held on a daily basis along with a long-term follow up clinic for patients post completion of treatment.
Outpatient Antibiotic Therapy Bay: This outpatient bay provides services for administration of parenteral antibiotics for oncology patients with an average of 50-60 visits per day. Those needing growth factors (GCSF), elective blood transfusions and blood thinners e.g. Enoxaparin are also accommodated in the same facility.
TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES FOR PHYSICIANS
Fellowship programme in Paediatric Oncology provides training in all aspects of oncology, as well as Malignant Haematology through a structured training curriculum recognised by the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan (CPSP), leading to second FCPS in Paediatric Oncology.
Departmental academic activity includes daily patient ward rounds, weekly grand rounds, weekly fellow teaching sessions, journal clubs, protocol reviews and multi-disciplinary meetings for leukaemia, lymphomas, bone marrow transplant, sarcomas and neuro oncology. Paediatric Tumour Boards are also held every week.
Elective students come to the department from all over the country and include medical students, as well as Medical Oncology Post Graduate trainees who rotate in Paediatric Oncology as part of their CPSP-based curriculum.