Twenty years of bone marrow transplantation at the University of Debrecen

The Hematology Department of the University of Debrecen has been conducting hematopoietic stem cell transplantation since 2003, primarily in cases of lymph node tumors, plasma cell diseases, and acute leukemia. So far, the intervention has been performed on about 1,200 patients. Experts reported on the results of the past two decades of bone marrow transplantation activity and future plans at a scientific meeting in the Hall of the University of Debrecen on April 13.

Bone marrow transplantations with the patient's own hematopoietic stem cells (autologous TX) started in 2003 at the Internal Medicine Clinic no II of the University of Debrecen under the management of professors Miklós Udvardy and Attila Kiss, followed by the transplantation of autoimmune patients at the Internal Medicine Clinic III.

The two care facilities were united in 2012 under the leadership of Professor Árpád Illés. As a result of the dynamic development of the hematology department and section, in 2016, transplantation with donor (foreign) hematopoietic stem cells (allogeneic TX) also began.

– Today, the three biggest challenges of healthcare systems are: increasing efficiency, improving accessibility and increasing adaptability. The board of trustees of the foundation that maintains the university also acts according to these three aspects in its decisions regarding health care and endeavors to develop optimal conditions for treatment, research and education. Our common goal is to give Hungarian patients the best possible chance of recovery, which is why we also provide all the necessary resources for hematology care - emphasized György Kossa, chairman of the board of trustees of the Gróf Tisza István Foundation for the University of Debrecen at the ceremonial opening of the scientific meeting on Thursday, which was attended by the main patron of the event, also Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén.

In 2018, the transplantation section was developed with about half a billion forints, it was expanded to 9 sterile wards, and a few months ago, a world-class cell therapy preparation separator was also purchased.

-The Department of Hematology of the University of Debrecen and its department have achieved outstanding results in the last twenty years, and they are currently the only ones in Hungary to provide full hematology care. The bone marrow transplantation activity is a real success story. In addition to the outstanding professional knowledge of highly qualified specialists, the investments and the acquisition of modern instruments provided the opportunity to further increase the quality and number of interventions, said Professor Dénes Páll, vice president of the Clinical Center.

Successful scientific activities are also carried out in the department and the section.

- Those that practice science at such a high level are ready to apply the latest procedures for more effective treatment at the University of Debrecen within a short period of time. This also greatly contributes to the unique professional performance of the department's and the section’s staff - explained Professor László Mátyus, dean of Faculty of General Medicine, UD.

The hematology department constantly participates in international drug studies, as a result of which about a hundred more patients receive innovative pharmaceutical products every year. There are currently 9 transplant wards, 61 hematology and 40 internal medicine beds available in the B building of the Internal Medicine Clinic, and 6 hematology clinics operate daily.

- Our plans include the initiation of stem cell manipulation, CAR-T and trained T-cell programs in the coming years, and our goal is to integrate molecular diagnostics in daily practice to a greater extent, on the basis of which we can use targeted innovative therapies, bispecific preparations and cellular therapies. In addition, we want to further develop the Department of Hematology - explained Professor Árpád Illés, head of the department and section.

The participants of the scientific meeting organized on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the beginning of bone marrow transplantation in Debrecen could learn about the future professional plans of the Department of Hematology and the results achieved so far.

Press Center  – CzA