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Memorial Ankara Hospital

location_on Ankara, Turkey
9.6/10 from 89 Votes

Department of Pediatric Oncology, Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation (661633)

Ahmet Demir

Prof. Dr. med.

Ahmet Demir

Specialized in: pediatric oncology, hematology, bone marrow transplantation

About the department

The Department of Pediatric Oncology, Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation at the Memorial Ankara Hospital offers the full range of high quality medical services in the areas of its specialization. The department deals with the treatment of children of different age groups with benign and malignant diseases of the hematopoietic system, solid neoplasms of various localization. The department successfully performs autologous and allogeneic bone marrow transplants in children with blood cancer. When diagnosing and treating young patients with solid tumors, the department's specialists quite often involve the doctors of related medical specialties, namely pediatric surgeons, neurosurgeons, orthopedic doctors, ophthalmologists, ENT doctors and others. The excellent equipment of the medical facility and the highest professionalism of pediatric doctors make it possible to perform the most accurate detection of the slightest pathological changes in the child's body, provide each young patient with individual and the most effective treatment using the very latest therapies. In addition, the department's specialists take care of the emotional state of young patients, since the upcoming treatment can often cause fear and stress in children. The department is headed by Prof. Dr. med. Ahmet Demir.

The first and decisive stage of treatment is accurate diagnostics using various laboratory and imaging tests. During the diagnostics, the doctors have the task to obtain comprehensive data on the type of tumor or malignant blood pathology, stage of the malignant process, localization and size of solid neoplasms. When elaborating a treatment regimen, the board of doctors also always takes into account the age of the child and his general health.

The doctors mostly have to deal with such life-threatening diseases in their clinical practice as leukemia, brain tumors, lymphomas, kidney and adrenal gland tumors, soft tissue and bone tumors, as well as eye tumors (especially retinoblastoma). The department also often admits the young patients with benign blood diseases. Of particular interest to hematologists is the treatment of iron deficiency and B12 deficiency anemia, structural and acquired aplastic anemias, thalassemia and hemophilia.

In the case of solid tumors, surgery is most often the first line therapy. To achieve the best therapy result, the doctors need to remove the entire tumor. The surgical treatment is performed using minimally invasive surgical techniques, which minimize the likelihood of postoperative complications, and also significantly accelerate the recovery process in the young patients. In some cases, the surgeons can perform operations with access through natural openings – the esophagus, the nasal passage. However, the doctors are not always able to remove all malignant cells during the surgical procedure, so the treatment regimen can be supplemented with chemotherapy, targeted therapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy and other methods. Chemotherapy is the basis of the treatment protocol for lymphoma, leukemia and retinoblastoma. For chemotherapy treatment, the department's doctors use modern and proven drugs, which aim to totally destroy tumor cells, but have minimal destructive effect on the healthy cells. In most cases, the drug is injected directly into the tumor, using a central catheter or port system. To carry out radiation therapy, the doctors use progressive linear accelerators, which allow them to perform high-precision focusing of the maximum dose of radiation on the target without harming healthy surrounding tissues. Thus, all the therapeutic options guarantee not only highly effective, but also sparing treatment.

The department's service range is complemented by autologous and allogeneic bone marrow transplantation for the treatment of malignant hematological diseases. In the first case, the patient's own stem cells are used for the transplant procedure, while in the second one, donor material is required. Bone marrow transplantation is performed in specially equipped treatment rooms with the strictest adherence to all hygiene and safety standards in order to exclude treatment complications (for example, infectious lesions). The department's specialists perform bone marrow transplantation using an innovative technique, which does not require any surgical manipulations. The essence of the procedure is donor material harvesting using apheresis, proper processing of the donor samples and their further transplantation through the vascular access. Bone marrow cells have special biological properties, so they can independently enter the bone marrow and begin the production of blood cells there. It is worth noting that a bone marrow transplant is always preceded by the preparation of the patient – intake of certain drugs, as well as several courses of chemotherapy in the case of the upcoming transplantation of the patient's own bone marrow cells. After the transplant procedure, the child is provided with careful monitoring and stays in a sterile isolated ward in order to avoid complications or rejection of the transplanted material.

The department's range of medical services includes:

  • Diagnostics and treatment of hematological diseases
    • Malignant hematological diseases
      • Leukemias
      • Myelodysplastic syndrome
      • Hodgkin's lymphoma
      • Non-Hodgkin's lymphomas
    • Benign hematological diseases
      • Aplastic anemia
      • Thalassemia
      • Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria
      • Fanconi anemia
      • Sickle cell anemia
      • Severe combined immunodeficiency
      • Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome
      • Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis
      • Kostmann syndrome
      • Chronic granulomatous disease
  • Diagnostics and treatment of solid malignant tumors
    • Neuroblastoma
    • Soft tissue and bone tumours
    • Brain tumors
    • Germ cell tumors
    • Kidney tumors
    • Eye tumors
  • Bone marrow transplantation using innovative non-surgical techniques
    • Autologous bone marrow transplantation
    • Allogeneic bone marrow transplantation
  • Diagnostics and treatment of other diseases, other therapeutic procedures

Curriculum vitae

Professional Career

  • Since 2014 Head of the Department of Pediatric Oncology, Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation at the Memorial Ankara Hospital, Ankara, Turkey.
  • 2009 - 2014 Physician in the Department of Pediatrics at the Training and Research Hospital in Ankara, Turkey.
  • 2008 - 2009 Doctor at the Military Hospital, Siirt, Turkey.
  • 2000 - 2005 Research Fellow, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey.

Higher Education and Postgraduate Training

  • 2005 - 2009 Specialized training in Pediatric Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey.
  • 1993 - 2000 Study of Human Medicine, Faculty of Medicine at Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey.

Memberships in Professional Societies

  • 2006 International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP).
  • 2009 Turkish Pediatric Oncology Group (TPOG).
  • 2009 Turkish Medical Association.
  • 2013 Member of the Scientific Board of the Turkish Pediatric Oncology Group (TPOG).
  • 2013 Board Member of the Pediatric Oncology East and Mediterranean Group (POEM).

Photo of the doctor: (c) Memorial Ankara Hospital

Department of Pediatric Oncology, Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation.
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