by Tom Wilemon
The Vietnamese Ministry of Well being has awarded two Vanderbilt epidemiologists the Memorabilia Medal “For the Individuals’s Well being” in appreciation for his or her contributions in serving to the nation set up a population-based analysis program for most cancers, diabetes and different non-communicable illnesses.
The medal is the best honor that the Vietnam authorities bestows upon overseas scientists who’ve made important contributions in public well being. Previous recipients have included representatives of the World Well being Group and different worldwide well being consultants.
Xiao Ou Shu, MD, PhD, MPH, affiliate director for International Well being and co-leader of the Most cancers Epidemiology Analysis Program at Vanderbilt-Ingram Most cancers Middle, and Wei Zheng, MD, PhD, director of the Vanderbilt Epidemiology Middle and Anne Potter Wilson Chair in Drugs, acquired the medals in July. Shu led a workforce of Vanderbilt researchers on a program to construct analysis capability in Vietnam that’s supported primarily by a grant from the Nationwide Most cancers Institute’s (NCI) Middle for International Well being. This grant is a part of NCI initiative to create and assist Regional Facilities of Analysis Excellence for non-communicable illnesses in low- and middle-income nations or areas. Shu is the lead principal investigator of this grant.
“We all know that illness has no borders,” Shu mentioned. “This analysis advantages America additionally as a result of what we study in a foreign country might be transferred again to the U.S. populations, significantly for some way of life habits, resembling weight loss plan and train, and genetic components which can be tough to check on this nation on account of their low prevalence.”
She cited for instance a earlier research she led on soy consumption amongst breast most cancers survivors that exposed soy merchandise within the weight loss plan have been related to a decreased breast most cancers recurrence fee though they comprise giant quantities of isoflavones that bind to estrogen receptors in cells. Estrogen is a hormone that has been linked to most cancers progress, significantly in breast most cancers. The research confirmed that ladies who ate essentially the most soy meals, greater than 11.83 mg isoflavones per day, had a 27% decreased fee for breast most cancers recurrence in comparison with those that had the bottom consumption. Such a research would have been tough to conduct with out utilizing a Chinese language-based population-based research as a result of soy will not be generally consumed within the U.S. and consumption is low and tough to measure, Shu mentioned. This discovering has led to a change of dietary tips from the American Most cancers Society for breast most cancers survivors.
The Vanderbilt epidemiology workforce labored with the NCI, the Vietnamese Nationwide Most cancers Hospital and Institute, the Hanoi College of Public Well being and Hanoi Medical College to ship coaching and capability constructing workshops and in-person coaching periods and to share their experience on survey questionnaires, analysis protocols for amassing biospecimens, biobanking and high quality management. They traveled with Vietnamese scientists to go to analysis laboratories in america and in Asian nations. They mentored them on statistical evaluation and writing scientific papers.
“Non-communicable illnesses have now grow to be an issue for Vietnam because the society has transitioned from a low-income inhabitants to some extent a middle-income inhabitants now,” Zheng mentioned. “Persistent illnesses have grow to be extra widespread.”
Along with the NCI-sponsored work, Shu and her workforce additionally contracted with the VINMEC Worldwide Hospital in Vietnam to develop analysis packages in colorectal most cancers epidemiologic analysis.
The work in Vietnam started in 2015 when Shu and Zheng traveled there for a wants evaluation. In 2017, Shu obtained a two-year NCI grant together with Thuan Van Tran, MD, director of the Vietnam Nationwide Most cancers Hospital because the joint principal investigators.
The Vanderbilt workforce additionally helped Vietnamese investigators publish a particular version of Most cancers Management dedicated to cancers in Vietnam that included 17 peer reviewed papers. Shu, together with two Vietnamese researchers, was certainly one of three visitor editors of the particular version, which coincided with the 50th anniversary of the Nationwide Most cancers Hospital.
A number of Vanderbilt professors co-authored a few of these research, together with Martha Shrubsole, PhD, analysis professor of Drugs, Division of Epidemiology, Stephen Deppen, PhD, an epidemiologist and assistant professor of Thoracic Surgical procedure, Staci Sudenga, PhD, assistant professor of Epidemiology, and Jaleesa Moore, PhD, an Epidemiology postdoctoral fellow. Sang Minh Nguyen, a Vanderbilt graduate scholar from Vietnam pursuing his PhD beneath the mentorship of Shu, additionally contributed to the publication.
Zheng mentioned he welcomed the chance to assist make a distinction in Vietnam. “They want this type of assist and we have now the capability to assist them,” he mentioned.
Shu mentioned Vietnam has a possibility to forestall some continual illnesses associated to weight loss plan and way of life.
“You place out the fireplace earlier than it will get aflame,” she mentioned. “That’s necessary.”