Vietnamese doctor brings blood cancer treatment technology back to the country

After nearly 20 years of research and exposure to advances in medical science in Germany, Dr. Le Duc Dung has sought to transfer leukemia treatment technologies to Vietnam.

Dr. Le Duc Dung heads a research group specializing in leukemia at Wuerzburg University Hospital (Germany). Many years working in the biomedical field, he was exposed to new cancer treatment methods, especially immunotherapy methods. “The goal of modern cancer treatment methods is to turn cancer from acute, malignant to chronic or completely cured, thereby prolonging the patient’s life,” Mr. Dung shared.

Dr. Le Duc Dung in his office. Image: NVCC

Dr. Le Duc Dung said that in immunotherapy to treat leukemia, there are three main methods including bispecific antibodies, CAR-T cells and allogeneic stem cell transplantation.

In particular, bispecific antibodies are a method of using artificial antibodies to simultaneously bind cancer cells to immune cells such as T cells, helping immune cells identify and destroy cancer cells. effective.

CAR-T is a gene-editing therapy for T cells to express a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) that enhances the recognition and destruction of cancer cells, which are then multiplied and reinfused into the body. the patient’s body to attack cancer cells.

Allogeneic bone marrow transplantation is a therapy that replaces a patient’s bone marrow with healthy hematopoietic stem cells from a donor.

These anti-cancer immunotherapy methods have shown high effectiveness and have been tested on many leukemia patients in Germany, including patients with severe disease, multiple recurrences or resistance to treatment methods. traditional cancer treatment. Dr. Dung is determined to introduce modern immunotherapy methods to Vietnamese hospitals.

He began planning to connect and transfer technology to treat leukemia in 2018. “I was led by two leaders, Professor Hermann Einsele – Director of Internal Medicine Hospital, Wuerzburg University Hospital and Professor Paul-Gerhardt. Schlegel – the leading expert in pediatric hematology in Germany at that time – enthusiastically supported,” Dr. Dung recounted.

Initially, he organized many online meetings with the participation of professors at Wuerzburg University Hospital and Vietnamese hospitals. In March 2023, two groups of German medical experts led by Professor Einsele and Professor Schlegel and Dr. Le Duc Dung arrived in Vietnam. The delegation visited and worked at a number of major cancer treatment facilities in Vietnam such as Bach Mai Hospital, Central K Hospital, National Children’s Hospital, Hai Phong University of Medicine and Pharmacy Hospital… At this meeting, the two sides exchanged training plans and transferred new cancer treatment methods.

In July 2023, Dr. Dung once again acted as a bridge to bring a delegation of representatives of the Ministry of Health of Vietnam and doctors from the National Children’s Hospital to visit and work with the University Hospital of Wuerzburg, Germany. At this meeting, the two sides signed an official memorandum of cooperation between the two countries.

In the content of transferring German cancer treatment technology to Vietnam, all three key methods of immunotherapy, bispecific antibodies, CAR-T cells and allogeneic bone marrow transplant, are gradually being transferred. .

A delegation of Wuerzburg University experts visited and worked at the Hanoi Private Children’s Hospital in March 2023. Image: NVCC

Dr. Le Duc Dung said that in order to apply modern treatment technologies, it is necessary to have good science to support, a force of doctors with professional qualifications, scientific knowledge, and experience. Research to be able to understand and grasp the profound principles of treatment methods. “We are very limited at this point,” he said, adding that this is a difficulty when making transfers. The transfer plan and training period may be longer than initially expected.

However, Dr. Le Duc Dung has no intention of giving up. He believes that once you have the opportunity to interact with modern science and understand the gap between German healthcare and Vietnamese healthcare, what you need to do is to make efforts to promote cooperation to shorten that gap. .

Dr. Le Duc Dung was born in 1981 in Nghe An. He graduated from Leibniz University Hannover (Germany) majoring in immunology, biochemistry and microbiology in 2010. After that, he studied for a doctorate in molecular medicine at Hannover Medical University and Saarland University Hospital.

By Editor

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