Cancer is considered a systemic disease and thus most patients registered at Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Cancer Hospital are seen by the department of Medical Oncology, which deals with systemic therapies in the form of chemotherapy, targeted therapies, hormonal therapies, immune therapies (monoclonal antibodies, check-point inhibitors) and haematopoietic stem cell transplantation. The department is committed to offer efficient care along with insights into research in both adult and paediatric cancer patients. The drugs used by the medical oncologist deals with the use of systemic medications aimed at cancer cell killing and control. Various investigations, like immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry and molecular testing, give an indication as to whether a particular drug will be beneficial in treating a specific cancer for a patient and how the body of the particular patient will respond when that drug is administered.
Unlike surgery and radiation therapy, which are usually done only once or very rarely twice, cancer patients needing systemic therapy not only get multiple cycles (4 to 6 cycles and up to 3 years of therapy in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia) of therapy upfront, but they can also receive multiple (up to 6 or even 8) lines of treatment in presence of resistant / progressive or relapsed disease. Systemic therapies are not only given before local therapies (neo-adjuvant setting); along with surgery/ radiation therapy(concomitant); after local therapies (adjuvant setting) and as maintenance therapies in curative settings, but also as palliative therapies in advanced cancers to improve the quality of life.
In-house treatment protocols are being set at par standards and are constantly updated based on the latest research evidence. The medical oncology team aims to provide a comprehensive approach to cancer care with emphasis on careful personalised monitoring of patients during and after treatment. The department works very closely with other specialist departments in the hospital to ensure the highest standards of cancer care for all patients.
A fully equipped medical day care ward will ensure a supportive and compassionate environment during the patient’s short stay in the hospital whilst undergoing chemotherapy treatment without the need for inpatient admissions. The department also deals with various procedures including ascitic tapping, pleural tapping, CSF studies and intrathecal injections.
The key features are-
- All modern chemotherapies with Day care facility
- Biological therapies (Immunotherapy) and Targeted therapy.
- Bone marrow transplant unit