Advanced treatment for blood cancer now in Sri Lanka

Wednesday, 4 January 2023 00:02 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Life-threatening leukaemia can now be effectively treated with the advancement of modern multimodal treatment methods. One such treatment is Chimeric Antigen Receptor or CAR T-cell Therapy, a new method that is making breakthroughs in the treatment of complex blood cancers.

Patients and doctors can contact the Parkway Patient Assistant Centre representing Mount Elizabeth, Mount Elizabeth Novena, Gleneagles and Parkway East Hospitals in Colombo to obtain more information about the treatment. Parkway Patient Assistant Centre in Sri Lanka is the counterpart for the hospitals facilitating treatments for patients keen to explore the new cutting edge technology in their medical management for best clinical outcome in the region. Parkway Hospitals Singapore Country Director Shuvo Hridayesh said that this cutting-edge technology has treated many patients from overseas and is now available for Sri Lankan patients through Parkway Patient Assistant Centre. 

CAR T-cell Therapy is the latest treatment approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Singapore Health Sciences Authority (HSA) under a new Cell, Tissue, and Gene Therapy Products (CTGTP) regulatory framework. Parkway Cancer Centre (PCC) is the first private medical centre in Singapore to offer this treatment.

CAR T-cell Therapy has been proven successful in the treatment of leukaemia and other complex blood cancers. This treatment offers a significant survival advantage compared to conventional chemotherapy, especially for patients whose diseases have relapsed or previously failed to respond to standard treatment. CAR T-cell Therapy would make more advancements in the treatment of blood cancers and non-haematological cancers in the future. CAR T-cell Therapy treatment, which is a form of immunotherapy, uses the body’s own immune response to destroy cancer. Patients who are responsive to treatment also continue to be stable and free of disease, with 7 out of 10 patients surviving after two years. Many side effects of this treatment can be managed by the highly trained, multidisciplinary clinical care team at the PCC.

The eligibility for CAR T-cell Therapy is assessed based on factors such as the overall fitness of a patient, adequate functioning of main organs, the age limit of 25 years, and the absence of serious infections, concurrent cancers and active autoimmune disorders.

The latest World Health Organization (WHO) data published in 2020 reported that the death rate due to leukaemia has kept Sri Lanka in the World Rank 35th position. It said that the number of deaths from leukaemia in Sri Lanka reached 1,155 or 0.99% of total deaths in 2020. The type of cancer from which most of our Sri Lankan children suffer is leukae