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Haematology and transfusion medicine
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​The Haematology and transfusion medicine team delivers advanced level evidence-based and patient-centred care for an extensive range of blood cancers and diseases. Treatments are provided for both inpatient and outpatient haematology patients in our commitment to excellence for a dynamic population.
We are also a major centre for allogeneic and autologous haemopoietic stem cell transplantation, receiving referrals from other statewide health districts. Our bone marrow team members are well recognised for ensuring the best possible transplantation outcome for suitable patients. We are currently undergoing FACT accreditation so that our patients can access cutting edge clinical trials and novel immune cell-based treatment options.

The sustained benefit of a multidisciplinary and integrated team of specialists across medical, nursing, pharmacy, allied health, laboratory and radiology, means that our patients receive dedicated clinical and psychosocial care throughout their treatment journey. Our team continually engages in research, education and training for improvement to clinical care and patient outcomes.​

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​The most common type of treatment for blood cancers is chemotherapy. This can range from being very intensive to less intensive therapy, depending on your blood cancer. You may need to be admitted to hospital to receive all, or part, of your chemotherapy. Otherwise, you will receive treatment as an outpatient in our day treatment unit. Your medical and nursing team can provide you with more specific information. Chemotherapy is often delivered through access to your veins, either on the arm or through a centrally inserted device. Sometimes, chemotherapy can be given orally, or as an injection into body tissue and/or spinal fluid. You may only need chemotherapy for your blood cancer, or if needed, in combination with any of the following treatments. 


​Blood cancers can also respond to immunotherapy. Medications in this category help your own immune system to recognise and destroy cancer cells. Immunotherapy can be given in combination with, or separate to, chemotherapy. There is continuous research into new types of immunotherapy, which can target specific proteins or antibodies on blood cancer cells, making treatment more effective. Immunotherapy can be given as part of your inpatient and/or outpatient treatment together with chemotherapy. Some blood cancers can be controlled with ongoing immunotherapy. 

 Bone Marrow Transplant

​Your haematologist may recommend a bone marrow transplant (BMT) as part of your treatment. Blood cells are made in the bone marrow where they start as stem cells. A transplant provides your bone marrow with new stem cells which can then become healthy blood cells. Very high doses of chemotherapy and radiation will damage the entire bone marrow, and BMT is required to regenerate the bone marrow. There are two main types of bone marrow transplants: autologous (from your own body) and allogeneic (from someone else’s body). BMT is a complicated process, and there are many criteria to meet in order to be eligible for a bone marrow transplant. We have two dedicated BMT nurse coordinators for your individual treatment journey. Stem cells are collected, and later transplanted, via a process called apheresis.


​Royal North Shore Hospital has its own dedicated apheresis unit. Apheresis is a process of removing specific components of your blood and returning the other components back to you. Specially designed machines perform this task under the clinical supervision of trained staff. In blood cancers, apheresis can be used to remove certain unwanted blood cells that are clogging up your bloodstream and making you unwell very quickly. Apheresis is also used in the bone marrow transplant process. Stem cells are collected from your, or a donor’s, blood via apheresis, and later given back to you as an infusion. You may also receive other treatments in the apheresis unit, such as treatment specific injections/infusions or blood product transfusions.​