Adult Stem Cell Therapy Blog

Breaking the cultural barrier for Thai patients

Friday, July 15, 2005 - Stem Cell Guru

Dr. Thein Htut is TheraVitae's Marketing Director and a member of TheraVitae's Executive Board. He was kind enough to share some of his thoughts on treating Thai patients.


Thailand, also known as land of smiles, is a country where the vast majority of people do not have a tradition of using modern medicine to treat their own health problems. This cultural barrier to modern medical technology is rapidly eroding.

I have noticed this change as a 17-year resident living and working in Thailand and contributing my experience and knowledge in the Medical and Bio-technology fields. After nearly two decades of bringing new innovative treatments and high tech medical equipment and medical technology to Thai doctors and hospitals, the modernization of Thai medicine and the attitudes of Thai people towards it continue to amaze me.

One of the most interesting days of my life--shared with my colleagues from TheraVitae Co., Ltd, Bangkok--came on Monday the 11th of July 2005. This was the day we had the first Thai patient in Thailand treated with VesCell™ Therapy (Autologous Stem Cell Therapy) in conjunction with Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) at Bangkok Heart Hospital, in Bangkok. This five-hour open heart bypass surgery was performed by one of the most experienced and professional Cardiac Surgeon and cardiac team I have ever seen. Although VesCell™ Therapy has been given to patients with ischemic heart disease with severe chest pain (angina pectoris) using the intra coronary catheter base approach at Siriraj hospital and Chaophya hospital, the procedure I witnessed is a newer innovative technique. Fifteen cc of adult stem cells, named ACPs (Angiogenic Cell Precursors) obtained from the patient’s own blood were harvested in Thailand and sent to Israel, where the cells were isolated and grown for several days. After being flown back to Bangkok, these cells were injected directly into the lateral and apical portion of the infarcted myocardial area of the left ventricle during the open heart bypass surgery. Direct ACPs injection can also be given to the whole of the heart myocardium if necessary. ACPs injection may facilitate the regeneration of the myocardium as well as the blood flow to the effective area of infarct.

It seems to me that the Thai people are getting to know more about how to take care of their health and are paying more attention on their own health care as well as the health care of friends and family. There are still many Thais who are hesitant to see a doctor for medical care or surgery. I have seen a lot of patients going to a pharmacy to get advice and treatment from a pharmacist rather than going to see a doctor. Such people leave the pharmacy not knowing whether the medication will really get rid of their problem. On the other hand, the more educated Thais tend to see a doctor for their illness and get the right medicine with the right dosage. The cultural change needed to trust and use modern medicine is happening slowly but surely.

TheraVitae is helping to break this cultural barrier for Thai patients. I am not surprised to hear that more and more patients are learning about VesCell™ Therapy. This novel treatment has already become a focus for many patients with severe cardiac disorders as well as for their attending cardiologists who may have performed a series of treatments for their patients including bypass surgery and angioplasties. Today in Thailand, we have Cardiac Surgeons and Cardiologist/Interventionist prescribing VesCell™ Therapy for patients with Ischemic Heart Disease as well as for Congestive Heart Failure and Cardiomyopathy. Because of trends in the changing of behaviors, ideas, knowledge, and the use of the new innovative treatments for patients without other option, I believe the new generation of Cardiologist and Cardiac Surgeons in Thailand will tend to opt for the best treatment that can bring their patients back to normal life and that are also safe to use without any complications and side effects.

Today, many Thai people have access to the internet. They are able to find increasingly more information about their health care options. As more and more people have come to learn about new and modern treatments such as VesCell™ Therapy, the more Thai people are breaking down cultural barriers to modern medical technology. Increasing numbers of Thais want to arm themselves with knowledge and learn more about how to take care of their health not only traditionally but by the most modern ways available.

Hospitals in Thailand are receiving enquiries not only from overseas patients, but also from Thai patients who are interested in VesCell™ Therapy. I am very pleased to know that patients who have been treated with VesCell™ Therapy have improved clinically, physically and mentally. Patients are also happy and willing to tell their stories about how they were treated with VesCell™ Therapy, how they are enjoying being back to a more normal life with their families as well as spreading the news to others who may have similar heart therapy needs as their own.

As more and more patients with severe cardiac disorder who have taken conventional treatments find out that they can no longer bring their health back to normal life I can see a future where they will be increasingly opting for VesCell™ Therapy, The Novel Treatment for the Heart from TheraVitae, one step beyond!

Dr. Thein Htut


Blogger Vavoom said...

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2:18 PM  

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