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Vietnam Performs Worlds First Stem Cell Transplant in Treatment of Bronchopulmonary


The Vinmec Research Institute of Stem Cells and Gene Technology, in Vietnam, began
case trials on treating BDP (another acronym for bronchopulmonary dysplasia) with stem cells
transplants. In May of 2016 Professor Dr. Nguyen Than Liem and his team had a 30-week-old
neonate come into the hospital due to severe infections and continues lung issues due to BDP, so
he went under a trial run on stem cells being transplanted to his lungs from his hips to help treat
and protect his lungs from BDP. One month after the surgery the neonate was reported to have
better breathing and no longer need oxygen support. Though the stem cell transplant does not
work to build and aid the already damaged parts of the lung it rather works to make the prenates
lungs stronger and build the walls of the lungs to be able to sustain life without the need of
oxygen provided by ventilators or tubes. Since this first stem cell transplant at Vinmec Research
Institute Dr. Liem and his team have performed two more stem cell transplants to treat BDP.
Each treatment has helped the patients lungs to develop properly and allow for them to less
depend on a machine to provide them with oxygen. This has become growingly important in the
treatment for premature patients, especially in Vietnam, as the Ministry of Health reported that
30-80% of the prenates born are at risk of BDP related deaths within their first two years of life,
this research and trial runs allows for the suppression of these numbers and thus creates a better
opportunity for these patients to live.

Connection to Essential Question:

This current event I researched connects to my essential topic as one of the key points for
my research was possible treatments on BPD. This article elaborates and shows the trials of
using stem cells to treat BPD, something that was only hypothesized up until the surgery
performed in May of last year. This helps out with the world of medicine as there is now an
actual treatment for BPD that helps ween patients off of oxygen needs in the NICU and can
prevent prenatal deaths due to BPD related infections. Dr. Liems team has not only helped with
possibly lowering the percentage of prenatal deaths but opened new windows of opportunity to
expand stem cell research on BPD and other health related complications for neonatal patients.
Personal Response:
The article itself didnt evoke any emotions in me as it was reporting the progress made
by Dr. Liem and his team on stem cell research and how it has helped with treating BPD.
However, it did invoke a lot of questions pertaining to whether stem cell treatment can be
applied to all cases concerning BPD, since not every case is the same. I wanted to know the
procedures and the process of the surgery, the preparation for the surgery as the article only
covers why the patient needed surgery and the outcome of the treatment. The article itself
doesnt go too far into detail, however, it covers the basis that allows the readers to know that
stem cell treatment has been proven to work to treat BPD in the three patients that have already
been brought in for the surgery. I would have also liked to see the actual reports on the surgery
rather than the article reporting how the surgery brought light to stem cell research on BPD and
the reportings on this hospital.

Citations: Vietnam Performs World's First Stem Cell Transplant in Treatment of
Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia - News VietNamNet. Vietnamnet NEW, 1 Nov.