Indian Academy of Transfusion Medicine

Driving Progress and Innovation in Blood Cancer Therapies

The academy which aims to drive progress and innovation in the understanding and treatment of blood cancers, through the exchange of ideas and the pursuit of excellence in research and development.

The goal of the research unit is to improve the health and well-being of patients by performing innovative research in blood and blood-related processes.

To translate scientific observation into direct patient benefits in the shortest possible time span.

Areas of special interest:

  • The development of safe blood products and blood substitutes to meet increasing transfusion demands

  • The creation of new knowledge of the mechanism underlying the haemostatic balance and the design and validation of novel approaches to prevent excess bleeding and excess blood clotting

  • The discovery of blood biomarkers for early detection of disease and monitoring of response to therapy

  • Molecular characterisation of the pathogenesis of leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma using novel diagnostic and scientific platforms to give a detailed understanding of the molecular features leading to malignant transformation.

  • Development of molecular diagnostic strategies for haematological and other cancers.

Research Areas

Blood transfusion products: Solving the problem of increased demand and limited supply:

The demand for blood products continues to increase, while the supply remains limited. Major objectives of the research are to utilize innovative approaches to prolong the "shelf-life" of current blood components, to optimize the use of available supplies, and to develop safe and effective blood substitutes. Major inroads have been made in i) discovering the mechanisms by which platelets lose their function during storage, ii) predicting which donors might have "better" platelets, iii) improving fractionation of blood components, and iv) recombinantly producing blood coagulation components for safe administration.

All patients who have a disease for which they receive many red blood cell transfusions can develop iron overload. Too much iron from the red cells causes liver disease, heart disease, skin changes, and endocrine disturbances such as diabetes and hypothyroidism. Excess iron has also recently been implicated in contributing to the neurologic disorder, multiple sclerosis, although further confirmatory research is required. Thus, children who have been treated for leukemia or other cancers or chronic illnesses, children with abnormal haemoglobins (thalassaemia), require treatment to prevent iron overload. Researchers and clinicians are working together to better understand the chemical pathways that control iron levels in the body, so that optimal therapies can be designed to improve quality of health. With the aim of providing better treatments and thereby reducing the need for transfusion.


  • Tripling the storage life of blood components, reducing severe blood shortages

  • Storing platelets to enable bone-marrow transplants and open heart surgery

  • Improving transfusion therapy in treatment for trauma and burns

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