2016 Oncology mission summary

Following the success of the 2015 symposium on Lymphoma Diagnosis for senior pathologists from major cancer centers in Vietnam, Roche Pharmaceutical in Saigon offered another similar workshop in 2016. This time, IHVN educators and lecturers, Dr. Chi Nguyen and Dr. Vanessa Dayton were invited to return to Vietnam, all expenses paid, to travel to the sites of each Path Lab and work directly with the local staff.  The 2016 program also featured a presentation on the Updates on WHO 2016 Lymphomas Classification. The 5-day workshop began on Nov 14, 2016 and ended on Nov 18, 2016. In Saigon, they visited Oncology Hospital Path Lab and in Hanoi the chosen sites included K3 Hospital, also known as the National Cancer Center, and NIHBT – National Institute of Hematology & Blood Transfusion.

At each site visit, Dr. Dayton presented a lecture on the Update of WHO 2016 Classification of Lymphomas, followed by a Q&A session for 15-20 participating pathologists. Both Dr. Nguyen and Dr. Dayton took turns reviewing case studies presented by the Vietnamese pathologists and offered their opinions and recommendations for each case selected.

We recognize many difficulties and challenges in the diagnosis of lymphomas shared by the local pathologists we worked with during these site visits. The quality of the diagnostic slides needs to be improved significantly, the integration of information by the clinicians and the laboratory personnel must be initiated and more opportunities for histotechnologists to take part in education and training to further improve accuracy of these diagnoses.