Life Life

14/04/2021 - 10:09

The first successful case of stem cell transplant in the treatment for retinoblastoma

In the morning of April 13, Hue Central Hospital held a discharge ceremony for 3-year-old patient Ho Thi T. (Vinh Linh, Quang Tri). This is the first case of autologous stem-cell transplantation in the treatment for retinoblastoma in Vietnam.

Prof. Dr. Pham Nhu Hiep (standing, second from left) giving gifts to T. on the day of hospital discharge 

Autologous stem cell transplantation is currently an effective treatment for many pediatric malignancies. Retinoblastoma is a malignant tumor started from the center of the retina and is the most common malignant tumor in young children. Retinoblastoma can develop in one or both eyes. In some cases, they can spread to other organs in the body.

Patients with intraocular retinoblastoma can be cured. However, patients with distant metastases (stage IV) have a poor prognosis with conventional chemotherapy.  Ho Thi T., hospitalized in September 2020, was diagnosed with stage 4a metastatic retinoblastoma. Without autologous stem cell transplantation, the child would not be able to live her life. 

In addition to specially being the the first case in Vietnam to receive successful autologous stem cells transplantation in retinoblastoma, Ho Thi T. was an ethnic minority patient, and the cost of more than 400 million VND for the treatment of the disease is donated by sponsors called for by Hue Central Hospital. 

In his speech congratulating on the patient’s hospital discharge, Prof. Dr. Pham Nhu Hiep, Director of Hue Central Hospital emphasized: “Autogolous stem cell transplantation is an advanced technology in cancer treatment. In particular, stem cell transplantation in retinoblastoma is a challenging technique. Despite this, this technique was first successfully implemented in Vietnam by the Pediatric Center, Hue Central Hospital.”

During stem cell transplantation and treatment, a problem occurred when the pediatric patient develops complications of infection. However, thanks to the effective cooperation between doctor teams, the patient overcame the infection and recovered with normal health index.

Story and photo: Dong Van