2019 Oncology mission summary

With the same purposes as in previous years, IHVN’s mission director Yen Nguyen and Dr. Vanessa Dayton, our devoted and regular mission traveler, returned to Vietnam for our 6th annual site visit to many cancer centers in both Saigon and Hanoi.

In Saigon, from November 26 to November 29, 2019, we visited the pathology laboratories of HCMC Oncology Hospital (Benh Vien Ung Buou), Blood Transfusion & Hematology Hospital (BTH) and University of Medicine & Pharmacy (UMP). At each site, Dr. Vanessa Dayton worked with the faculty, pathology residents as well as many senior medical students to review slide cases including lymph node and other tissues biopsies, blood smears, bone marrow core biopsies and resection specimens.

At HCMC UMP, Dr. Dayton presented a lecture on the Diagnosis of Plasma Cells Neoplasms using the 2017 World Health Organization (WHO) Guidelines published in 2017. At BTH, Dr. Dayton presented a lecture on the Correlation of Automated Complete Blood Count, Hemoglobin Electrophoresis, and Blood Smear for accurate diagnosis of Hemoglobinopathies, Thalassemias and Concomitant Iron deficiency/hemoglobinopathy/thalassemia. She demonstrated proper technique for obtaining good quality blood and bone marrow aspirate smears.

In Hanoi, we visited the Path Lab of Bach Mai Hospital on December 2, reviewing slides with staff pathologists and pathology residents. The slide cases chosen for the review included lymph node and other tissue biopsies, and blood smears, bone marrow core biopsies. A lecture presentation on the History of Diagnosis and Treatment of Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia: From uniformly fatal to curable when diagnosed quickly and accurately was given by Dr. Dayton in the afternoon hours to end our site visit at Bach Mai Hospital.

December 3 & 4 were scheduled for our site visit at National Cancer Center, K3 Hospital location in the outskirt of Hanoi. Dr. Dayton spent her time in the Path Lab working on slide review sessions with faculty, pathology residents and medical students. The review included cases on lymph node and other tissue biopsies, blood smears and bone marrow core biopsies. Lectures and demonstration on several topics were delivered during this 2-day site visit:

– The Diagnosis of Myelodysplastic Syndromes using the 2017 WHO Guidelines.

– The University of Minnesota guidelines for obtaining a good quality bone marrow core biopsy and aspirate for smears

   while minimizing risk to the patient.

– Demonstration of bone marrow biopsy and aspirate technique.

Returning to Saigon, we were invited to attend the 22nd HCMC Annual Conference on Cancer Prevention and Control organized by HCMC Oncology Hospital from Dec 4-6, 2019. Dr. Dayton was one of many lecturers invited to present at this event. Her presentation at this Conference was Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia – From Frequently Fatal to Usually Curable but Still With Diagnostic Challenges.  An evening gala dinner hosted by HCMC Oncology Hospital for all invited lecturers and participants on the last day of the Conference concluded this well attended annual event.