Associate Professor Tan Poh Lin graduated with MBBS (S’pore) in 1992 and Master of Medicine in Paediatrics (S’pore) in 1996. She is a registered specialist in Paediatric Medicine and Paediatric Haematology & Oncology. Her main practice is in the field of blood/marrow transplantation (BMT) for cancer and non-cancer indications. Some examples of HCT that A/Prof Tan is experienced in are bone marrow transplant, peripheral blood stem cell transplant and umbilical cord blood transplant. She is experienced in tailoring therapy that best serve the patient’s unique medical needs within the context of mainstream therapy.
HCT is a potential cure for childhood cancers including certain high risk leukaemia (e.g. acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, acute myeloid leukaemia, juvenile myelomonocytic leukaemia, myelodysplastic syndrome, chronic myeloid leukaemia, therapy-related acute leukaemia) and solid tumours (e.g. Medulloblastoma, Neuroblastoma, Ewing Sarcoma, Rhabdomyosarcoma). HCT is also a curative treatment option for specific blood disorders including congenital anaemia, transfusion-dependent Thalassaemia, bone marrow failure syndromes (e.g. Fanconi Anemia, Dyskeratosis Congenita, Diamond Blackfan Anaemia or Pure Red Cell Aplasia, severe idiopathic aplastic anaemia), primary immunodeficiency diseases (e.g. Severe Combined Immune Deficiency, Chronic Granulomatous Disease, Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome, Natural Killer Cell Deficiency or Haemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis) and rare genetic diseases such as Cerebral Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) and Hurler’s Syndrome if diagnosed early.
A/Prof Tan is experienced in the use of adoptive transfer of immune cells such as Natural Killer and T cells that can be given before or after HCT to rescue patients with cancer progression or relapse. She champions a multidisciplinary survivorship programme that focuses on primary and secondary diseases surveillance as well as quality of life of patients. She has a special interest in developing expertise in Adolescent and Young Adult oncology (AYA) to fill current gaps in the care of this special group of patients.
A/Prof Tan believes that the cure of catastrophic or any disease needs to be managed in the context of holistic care with emphasis on good symptom(s) control throughout the illness and thoughtful recovery support for re-integration back to society. She works with an excellent team of paediatricians with various specialties, nurses, social workers and allied health personnel towards delivering the best of such care.
A/Prof Tan believes that teaching (patients, parents and next generation of doctors), good clinical and translational research as well as clinical medicine are inseparable entities and excellent health care must be delivered in a collaborative and coordinated effort. She serves in various teaching capacities within and out of the NUHS campus. A/Prof Tan also serves as the Chair of the Viva-Asia Blood & Marrow Transplant Consortium, a voluntary organisation of paediatric stem cell transplant experts from ASEAN and the region, working towards improving the practice of HCT. She hopes to improve the health of every child and family who entrust themselves to our team.