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History

2010's

2016
december
Mitochondrial replacement therapy prevents mitochondrial genetic disorder.

Professor Shoukhrat Mitalipov who is an advisor to the Asan Institute for Life Sciences and Dr. Kang Eun-ju published the study results in Nature, which proves that mitochondrial replacement therapy can prevent mitochondrial genetic disorder. Professor It was the first time that the study results obtained by applying mitochondrial replacement therapy to multiple families of actual patients were published in an international journal. Mitochondrial replacement therapy is designed to transform the mitochondria with mutated DAN in the eggs into the normal mitochondria in the donated eggs. The research team extracted cell nuclei from the eggs of female patients and inserted them into the normal eggs with cell nuclei removed in advance; then the eggs with normal mitochondria were fertilized with sperms. As a result, the mitochondria with mutated DNA disappeared from the eggs in which the mitochondria was replaced, and they met sperms to become the fertilized eggs without the risk of genetic disorders.

AMC proves the effect of stenting on the treatment of aortic valve stenosis patients

A research team led by Professor Park Seung-jung, Associate Professor Park Duk-woo, and Assistant Professor Ahn Jung-min of the department of cardiology proved the effect of aortic valve stenting on patients with congenital bicuspid aortic valve and the results were published in the latest issue of the Journal of American College of Cardiology (IF=17.759). Aortic valve stenting is a procedure designed to reach a balloon up to the valve through the femoral blood vessel, inflate the balloon at the area between narrowed valves, and fix a stent in the aortic valve which serves as the valve. Despite a growing number of stenting for treatment of aortic valve stenosis, it was the first time that the effect of stenting on congenital bicuspid aortic valve stenosis was revealed.

Associate Prof. Hong Seung-mo suggests a new bile duct cancer staging method.

Associate Professor Hong Seung-mo of the department of pathology (photo) believed it incorrect to apply the staging system used for gastrointestinal cancers to bile duct cancer, and carried out a study of 101 patients who underwent surgery for bile duct cancer. As a result, it was found that the staging system used for gastrointestinal cancers is not suitable for bile duct cancer since the bile duct is different from the gastrointestinal tract in terms of histological structure and the remaining histological structure cannot be used as an indicator since bile duct cancer affects the surrounding tissues as the cancer cell infiltrates. The new staging method for extrahepatic bile duct cancer is used as a standard for diagnosis and treatment of extrahepatic bile duct cancer patients worldwide from January 1, 2017 as the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) adopted the approach suggested by Associate Professor Hong as an official staging system for bile duct cancer in the 8th edition of its cancer staging manual.

POSTECH BRIC includes AMC’s three researches in top five medical science researches for 2016.

Three of researches carried out jointly by AMC and University of Ulsan College of Medicine were included in top five researches for 2016 in the field of domestic medical science, which was recently announced by the Biological Research Information Center (BRIC) of POSTECH. 1,218 medical scientists in Korea participated in the survey between December 5 and 9, 2016 and the advisory panel of BRIC reviewed the results. The researches selected are ▲Generation of Knockout Mice by Cpf1-mediated Gene Targeting (Prof. Lee Sang-wook of the dept. of radiation oncology, Prof. Lee Myung-seob of the dept. of medical lifescience, Assistant Profs. Baek In-jeong and Seong Myung-hoon of the dept. of convergence medicine) ▲Intestinal Microbes in Inflammatory Bowel Disease like Crohn’s Disease (Associate Prof. Kwon Mi-na of the dept. of convergence medicine) and ▲Discovery of Biochemcial Marker for Early Diagnosis of Lung Cancer (Assistant Prof. Lee Chang-hwan of the dept. of medical lifescience).

AMC is selected the best hospital to work for in Korea.

AMC was named the No. 1 in the general hospital category of the 2016 Korean Net Promoter Score (KNPS) led by the Korean Management Association Consulting (KMAC) for two years in a row. This is a survey of 12,000 customers of 97 domestic industries for their willingness to recommend purchased goods and services to others. Respondents were asked to have a willingness to recommend AMC on a 7-point scale and the response ratio was follows: ▲Definitely Yes 6.8% ▲Yes 50.5% ▲Probably Yes 34.2% ▲Neutral7.4% ▲Probably No 0.5% ▲No 0.5% ▲Definitely No 0%. AMC was scored highest with 48.9 points among general hospitals with Definitely No response ratio excluded from Definitely Yes response ratio.

CardioVascular Summit?TCTAP 2016

The CardioVascular Summit-TCTAP 2016 was held by Asan Medical Center Heart Institute jointly with the CardioVascular Research Foundation on December 1. The two-day event was aimed to share basic knowledge and recent trends in cardiovascular intervention and deliver world renowned scholars’ knowhow. It was a meaningful time for around 700 participants from 27 countries to learn knowledge and surgical skills through lectures and live demonstrations by heart specialists and relevant medical professionals.

AMC’s nuclear medicine-pathological examination results are recognized as world standards.

As the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards joined the International Common Criteria Recognition Arrangement (CCRA) in medicine on December 1, the examination results of AMC that meets international standards are now recognized around the world. As a result, AMC will not only gain international confidence in nuclear medicine-pathological clinical results, but also conduct tests necessary for developing new drugs and exporting medical devices instead of requesting it to overseas institutions.

Five-year survival rates of pancreatic cancer surgery patients double in fifteen years

A research team led by Professor Kim Song-cheol of the department of hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgery analyzed the treatment outcomes of 1,656 patients who received the pancreatic resection for pancreatic cancer between 2000 and 2014, and found that around 30% survived for more than five years while around 80% survived for more than one year. The five-year survival rates which represent the cure of cancer doubled to 26.8% between 2010 and 2014 from 12.4% between 2000 and 2004. The one to three-year survival rates in the same period also increased, which clearly demonstrates an improved short-term outcome. This result was conflicting the five-year survival rates of all pancreatic cancer patients registered in the Korea Central Cancer Registry which had not much change with 7.6~9.4% for the past two decades.

november
An operation waiting room is refurbished to reduce patients’ anxiety.

The operation waiting room in East Building was refurbished to open on November 1. This project has begun since 2015 with the aim of reducing patients’ anxiety before operation through a series of improvements. The project is in its final stage and the refurbishment is completed. The OR waiting room in East Building was recreated to a patient-centric space focusing on reducing the causes of patients’ unrest in operating rooms by ▲installing independent booths for each patient to protect privacy ▲creating a system to reduce waiting time for operation ▲installing indoor indirect illumination to make patients feel a sense of security ▲setting the flow of moving medical professionals considering the eyes of patients ▲dividing space for patients on bed from for patients in wheelchairs to reduce the anxiety of less ill patients.


A research team led by Prof. Lee Joo-young at the Biomedical Research Center develops technology of designing chemical tools for the treatment of Alzheimer’s dementia.

A research team led by Professor Lee Joo-young at the Biomedical Research Center (photo) and Professor Lim Mee-hee at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) developed a design technology of chemical tools that can remove the cause of Alzheimer’s dementia. It is a strategy of making low-molecular compounds by considering the molecular structure to respond to the causative factors of Alzheimer’s disease and reaction mechanism. Believing that it can be effectively treated if designing optimal molecules that suppresses each factor, the research team designed four customized molecules by considering ▲how well the molecule is combined with metallic ions ▲what interactions take place between the molecule and amyloid beta protein, and ▲the level of ionization energy of low-molecule compounds.

A research team led by Assistant Prof. Lee Chang-hwan at the dept. of medical life science discovers a lung cancer-inducing key protein.

A research team led by Assistant Professor Lee Chang-hwan at the department of medical life science announced that they found key protein inducing lung cancer. It represents a specific gene mutates in lung cancer patients. The research team compared and analyzed the amount of protein expressed of 106 lung cancer patients’ lung cancer tissues and normal tissues. As a result, the amount of USE1 protein expressed increased in 92.5% of lung cancer tissues, and among them USE1 gene mutated in 13%, causing lung cancer.

AMC is selected as an organization of Organoid project.

AMC was selected as the lead organization of the project for Korea’s five major cancer genomes – establishing a clinical information-integrated Organoid Biobank system and developing a precision medicine application platform, sponsored by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and the Korea Evaluation Institute of Industrial Technology. AMC will build the Organoid Biobank for Korea’s five major cancers such as liver cancer, stomach cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, and pancreatic cancer, supported with government contribution of around 4 billion won for four years, and develop a Korean-version precision medicine platform reflecting Korean’s genome characteristics. Organoid refers to artificial organs with similar functions and structure to those of human organs. It is called an in vitro patient model that even slightly different features of organ tissues such as the stomach, the liver, and the large intestine as well as the properties of genomic variation which vary from patient to patient are copied. Organoid is created by applying in vitro culture technology or stem cell differentiation technology to the surrounding organ tissues removed from patients. It will be useful for clinical trials and researches since interactions between the cancer cell and surrounding organ tissues can be described when anticancer drug is administered.

october
AMC ranks top in the general hospital category of the Korean Customer Satisfaction Survey.

AMC received the best ratings in the general hospital category of the Korean Customer Satisfaction Survey organized by the Korean Management Association Consulting (KMAC). It was the four straight year in the top spot since 2013. AMC received best reviews in the general hospital category by earning 74.7 points which is 1.1 point higher than last year. All items were favorably evaluated with overall satisfaction, willingness to reuse, and element satisfaction of 75.3, 70, and 76.5 points, respectively. Specifically, AMC was highly recognized in ▲confidence in hospital ▲confidence in medical team ▲quality of medical services ▲convenient reservation ▲medical professional’s care and response to patients, and ▲ excellence of medical facilities and equipment.


AMC was selected as an organization of the project for strengthening research competence of clinical medical scientists.

AMC was selected as an organization of the project for strengthening research competence of clinical scientists supported by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning with 4.6 billion won after winning a positive response to the presentation entitled ‘clinical setting-based open next-generation core medical scientist training center.’ The project will be run for four years led by Chairman of Asan Institute for Life Sciences Kim Chong-jai (photo) and participated by seven researchers as PI for specific programs. The project includes eight programs for studying a ▲smart-monitoring system of vulnerable patients for in-hospital blind-spot and developing a ▲sarcopenia control technology using megakaryocyte releasing factor VGF.

A research team led by Assistant Prof. Park Yoon-yong of the dept. of convergence medicine identifies the mechanism of a gene that causes breast cancer.

A research team led by Assistant Professor Park yoon-yong of the department of convergence medicine analyzed gene data of 12,000 breast cancer patients in Korea, China, and the United States registered in a cancer genome map of the United States to discover that MS12 gene substantially increased in the patient group expressed with estrogen receptor (ER) compared to the group without ER. The research team analyzed the mechanism of ER in MS12 gene and verify the fact that MS12 is directly combined with the genetic information transmitting substance of ER gene to contribute to the stability of ER protein. If the stability of ER protein is secured, it functions better. Finally, the study found that MS12 gene directly controls the activation of ER expression.

A gastroenterology research team publishes the results that the early detection of liver cancer in hepatocirrhosis patients by MRI is three times higher than by sonography.

A joint research team of the departments of gastroenterology and radiology carried out MRI and ultrasound scans on the liver of 407 hepatocirrhosis patients at high risk for liver cancer with more than 5% of annual liver cancer occurrence probability every six months three times between November 2011 and August 2014. As a result, it was found that the early detection of liver cancer by MRI scanning is three times higher than by ultrasound scanning. The presence of cancer was verified and the detection rates of MRI and ultrasound scanning were compared. The detection by MRI scanning was 86% (37 patients) compared to 27.9% (12 patients) of detection by ultrasound scanning. Moreover, it was found that ▲MRI scan detected liver cancer in ten patients during second and third examination periods while ultrasound scan detected it in one patient, and ▲MRI scan detected liver cancer early in 32 patients (84.8%) in the early stage (stage 0) of liver cancer which can be fully cured since the tumor size is less than 2 cm.

A research team led by Prof. Kim Joon-bum of the dept. of thoracic & cardiovascular surgery suggests new guidelines for the treatment of severe aortic aneurysm.

A research team led by Associate Professor Kim Joon-bum of the department of thoracic & cardiovascular surgery at AMC (photo) and Professor Thoralf M. Sundt at Massachusetts General Hospital of Harvard Medical School announced the results of analyzing difference in the probability of aortic aneurysm rupture depending on the diameter and location using data of 4,654 patients diagnosed with ascending aortic aneurysm with 45~55 mm in diameter. The research team found that the aortic aneurysm of 45~55 mm created in the ascending aorta is less likely to be subject to surgery since the risk of rupture or detachment in five years is relatively low with less than 3%. It can be new guidelines for the treatment of severe aortic aneurysm. 

A symposium celebrating the 5,000th liver transplantation is held.

In March 2016, AMC set a milestone as the 5,000th liver transplantation was performed. It was an amazing achievement made in 25 years which is the shortest in the world. To celebrate it, a symposium was held in AMC on October 22, attended by liver transplantation team members from the departments of liver transplantation and hepatobiliary surgery, pediatric ambulatory medicine, anesthesiology and pain medicine, radiology, and gastroenterology as well as medical scientists at home and abroad and patients who underwent liver transplantation and their families. Participants followed the footsteps of the liver transplantation team for the past two decades who have made achievements in the face of adversity when transplantation itself was unfamiliar to the domestic medical world.

A research team led by Prof. Choo Myung-soo of the dept. of urology proves the effect of stem cells in treating bladder syndrome.

A research team led by Professor Choo Myung-soo of the department of urology and Associate Professor Shin Dong-myung at the Department of Medical Life Science published the results that proved the possibility of treating intractable painful bladder syndrome which is so common that one in six adults in Korea suffer from it. The research team injected stem cells into the rats with painful bladder syndrome to analyze their urination patterns and histological characteristics of bladder cells compared to the rats without receiving stem cell therapy. As a result, even a single stem cell therapy led to a significant improvement in major symptoms of painful bladder syndrome that degrades the quality of life. Such results could be obtained since tissues around the bladder were effectively protected by a paracrine effect that influences other cells as stem cells are engrafted on the bladder tissues.

A research team led by Prof. Chung Sun-ju of the dept. of neurology announces that Parkinson’s disease patients are twice more likely to commit suicide.

A research team led by Professor Chung Sun-ju of the department of neurology has recently announced the study result that Parkinson’s disease patients are twice more likely to commit suicide than normal people. The research team analyzed 4,362 patients diagnosed of Parkinson’s disease in AMC from 1996 to 2012. Out of them, 29 patients committed suicide, which is 1.99 times higher than the prediction (14.59) obtained by reflecting the suicide rate of general population by age and sex. Men and those with serious movement disorders were more likely to commit suicide. Especially those suffering or having suffered from psychological disorders such as depression have 3.21 times higher risk of committing suicide, which represents the importance of caring patients’ minds as well as health.

september
AMC Children’s Hospital is designated as the pediatric emergency center and the public medical center for children.

AMC Children’s Hospital was designated by the Ministry of Health and Welfare both as the pediatric emergency center and the public medical center for children. The pediatric emergency center is built separately from the ER for adults, equipped with medical equipment specialized for children, and staffed with pediatricians providing specialized emergency services around the clock. AMC Children’s Hospital has run the pediatric emergency center since December 2010, which was the first designed by the Ministry of Health and Welfare through a next-generation ER model development project. The center is consisted of emergency outpatient room, resuscitation room, and first-aid/surgery room for injury patients and equipped with pediatric X–ray and ultrasound systems to offer fast treatment. 


Korea-Spain International Symposium

The Korea-Spain International Symposium jointly organized by AMC Center for Advancing Cancer Therapeutics (CACT), Institute for Innovative Cancer Research (IICR), and AbClon was held at the grand auditorium (B1F, Asan Institute for Life Sciences) on September 23. The symposium entitled ‘Innovative Therapeutic Biologics and Immuno-Oncology for Better Medicine’ was attended by local medical professionals leading immune-oncology studies and Professors at the Spanish Royal Institute of Technology including Dr. Mathias Uhlen as well as stakeholders from biotechnology companies both of Korea and Spain to share insights on R&D of antibody and immune-cell therapy.

The Medical Startups Seminar is held.

The Medical Startups Seminar was held at the Asan Hall (15F, Convergence Innovation Building) on September 29. At the Seminar attended by AMC medical professionals and business leaders from 29 medical companies, and 70 startup staff introduced a desirable future growth model for medical startups, medical patient strategies, the business-sponsored medical device development center, and the Korean healthcare startup membership project. Also AMC’s patented technologies for ▲VR training device for visual impairment ▲genetic scissors ▲medical imaging software for diagnosis ▲cell culture devices ▲surgical instruments for shoulder joint ▲stem cell medicine ▲3D printing ▲cerebrovascular intervention catheter ▲bio-imaging were introduced and a network dinner was held.

4D MRI is incorporated into 3D printing to visualize the images of aortic blood flow.

Assistant Professor Kim Nam-kug of the department of convergence medicine and Assistant Professor Yang Dong-hyun of the department of radiology have recently published the results of a research that analyzed aortic blood flow by incorporating 4D MRI into 3D printing through a joint research with Professors Ha Oh-jin and Lee Sang-joon at POSTECH. The joint research team identified that the aortic blood flows spirally in a cardiovascular model of a patient with aortic valve stenosis and the speed of spiral aortic blood flow doubled in case of right valve stenosis. It is expected to help predict and diagnose a variety of cardiovascular disorders by capturing the abnormal aortic blood flow.

A demonstration for intelligent surgery support system development is held.

A research team led by Professor Jeon In-ho of the department of orthopedic surgery and the Innovation Designs Center held a demonstration of ICT-based intelligent surgery support system development. The intelligent surgery support system is a joint development project by the research team led by Professor Jeon In-ho of the department of orthopedic surgery, AMC Innovation Designs Center, and the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) with the aim of creating a future-oriented efficient and safe surgical environment. At the demonstration attended by the management including President of AMC Park Seong-wook, a video clip about the project was shown and wireless surgical environment was introduced.

A research team led by Prof. Tchah Hung-won of the dept. of ophthalmology introduces ‘femtosecond laser technology’ that allows safe and precise surgery for high-risk cataract.

A research team led by Professor Tchah Hung-won of the department of ophthalmology has recently introduced a femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery. The femtosecond (FS) laser is an infrared laser that produces a wavelength in one quadrillionth of a second, which is used in fields requiring precise processing by minimizing the loss of the surrounding tissues. It will benefit patients with a high risk of bleeding due to the use of anticoagulant, cataract patients with the complication of taking prostate drug, and patients who are highly likely to cause complications such as mature cataract patients.

august
ED can be treated with stem cell therapy.

An animal test result was announced that erectile dysfunction (ED) can be treated with stem cell therapy. A research team led by Professor Kim Choung-soo and Associate Professor You Dalsan of the department of urology announced that they verified its potential as a fundamental therapy for ED since this approach had a natural effect on the recovery from impotence as a result of an animal test of injecting human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) into the corpus cavernosum penis of rats given with neural damage.


AP VALVES 2016

The 5th AP VALVES 2016 organized jointly by the AMC Heart Institute and the Asan Cardiovascular Research Foundation (CVRF) was held for three days from August 17 to 19 at the Walker Hill Hotel. The event provided workshop programs for three days to give participants a practical opportunity to learn surgical techniques and latest insights on heart valve procedure. Internationally renowned experts in heart valve surgery including Dr. Eberhard Grube (Germany), Dr. John Graydon Webb (Canada), Dr. Alan C. Yeung (USA), and Dr. Darren L. Walters (Australia) also attended the event as speakers to share their clinical experience and surgical techniques.

Events to celebrate the 10th anniversary of opening AMC Children’s Hospital School are held.

AMC Children’s Hospital School held events to celebrate the 10th anniversary on August 17 and 18. The ceremony held on the 17th awarded passionate teachers who have committed to volunteering for the past ten years and ten diligent students for good conduct and participation to celebrate ten-year anniversary. Training programs were offered for students, their families, and teachers from the afternoon of the 17th to the 18th.  

Medical volunteering service in Cambodia

AMC medical volunteering team provided medical volunteering service in Chum Kiri District of Kampot Province, the southern part of Cambodia from July 23 to 30. The team was consisted of 35 members including nurses, pharmacists, University students of Ulsan College of Medicine, external volunteers as well as Professor Ra Young-shin of the department of neurosurgery (corps leader), Professor Kim Hong-gyu of the department of health medicine, Associate Professor Hong Suk-kyung of the department of general surgery (treatment team leader) treated 802 patients and performed 74 surgeries and 86 examinations. After completing the activity, the team held a medical symposium at the Hebron Hospital situated in Phnum Penh, delivering latest medical information to local physicians and donated new radiology books.

The Asan-Kumamoto International Joint Symposium is held successfully.

The Asan-Kumamoto International Joint Symposium was held at the grand auditorium (B1F, Asan Institute for Life Sciences) on August 6. Around 100 medical professionals of obstetrics and gynecology from AMC, Kumamoto University Hospital, and local hospitals attended the symposium to discuss on ▲molecular pathogenesis and appropriate target therapies for endometrial cancer ▲laparoscopic radical hysterectomy in Japan ▲single port surgery: laparoscopic and robotic ▲precancerous lesions of the female lower genital tract, and ▲fetal heart function evaluation by fetal echocardiography. The Asan-Kumamoto International Joint Symposium is held every year alternatively in both countries since 2011 as AMC Professor Kim Young-tak of the department of obstetrics and gynecology was engaged in research with Kumamoto University Hospital Professor Hidetaka Katabuchi of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1993.

A research team at the Brain Research Center of University of Ulsan College of Medicine verifies that autism occurs due to microglial autophagy deficiency.

A research team led by Associate Professors Kim Dong-ho and Yoon Seung-yong at the Brain Research Center of University of Ulsan College of Medicine verified through animal testing that autism occurs when autophagy in microglia which are the innate immune cells in the brain does not work properly. The research team paid attention to microglia that suppresses the excessive connection of a neural network, and prepared mice deleted with ‘atg7’ gene that is integral to microglia’s autophagy to compare them with normal mice. As a result, atg7 gene-deleted mice showed social skill deficits and the repetition of a specific behavior which are typical symptoms of autism.

A research team of the dept. of cardiology demonstrates the effect of an ICD on a decline of sudden death in patients with variant angina

A research team led by Professors Park Seung-jung and Choi Kee-joon of the department of cardiology published the results that an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is effective in lowering mortality rates of patients with variant angina caused by a sudden death. This study verified that variant angina patients who experienced acute heart arrest need an ICD together with medication and suggested new guidelines for the treatment of variant angina

Bhutan Minister of Health visits AMC.

Bhutan Minister of Health Tandin Wangchuk visited AMC on August 23. The visit was made as the Health and Welfare Committee has recommended during his visit to Korea for consultation about healthcare-related policies of Korea and Bhutan. Welcomed by AMC President & CEO Park Seong-wook and Director of Asan Medical International (AMI)  Kim Young-tak, Minister Tandin and his party was introduced about AMC’s treatment, training programs and research status and discussed about how to cooperate for severe patient referral and training of medical scientists.

july
A research team led by Prof. Lee Ki-up and Associate Prof. Koh Eun-hee of the dept. of endocrinology and metabolism signs a contract for patented technology transfer of anti-obesity medicine

An agreement ceremony to transfer the patented technology of anti-obesity medicine that reduces or control weight to Dalim Biotech Co., Ltd. was held at the executive conference room (6F, East Building) on July 13. The technology developed by a research team led by Professor Lee Ki-up and Associate Professor Koh Eun-hee of the department of endocrinology and metabolism was recognized for the excellent effect and safety in obesity treatment by suppressing an appetite and increasing energy consumption.



 



The research team accidently found that alpha-lipoic acid is definitely effective in reducing weight while examining the treatment effect of various drugs in animal models with diabetes. Therefore further study to discover its mechanism was implemented to uncover that alpha-lipoic acid has an effect to curb an appetite by declining the activity of AMPK enzyme which is an intrahypothalamic metabolic regulatory factor and the results were published in the Nature Medicine.


AMC medical volunteering team offers medical services to refugees in Athens, Greece.

AMC medical volunteering team left for Athens, Greece and provided volunteer activities for Afghan refugees from July 22 to 31. The volunteering team led by Professor Sun Woo-sung of the department of family medicine (team leader) was consisted of 28 members including physicians of the departments of surgery, pulmonology and critical care medicine, endocrinology and metabolism, radiology, and dentistry as well as nurses, pharmacists, and medical technologists. They took care of 701 refugees who complained about skin problems and allergies due to poor sanitary conditions in the camps, and many wanted oral examinations. Blood tests, urine tests, X-rays, lipoma and granuloma removal, and wound treatment were performed.

AMC provides twenty marriage immigrants from eight countries with health checkup services.

Those who were born in other countries such as the Philippines, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Thailand, and Vietnam, yet married to Koreans to live here as a member of Korean society are called marriage immigrants; and their family is called a multicultural family. AMC provided these marriage immigrants with free health checkup services at the Health Screening and Promotion Center from July 19 to 29. This event was held at the request of the Seoul Immigration Office for twenty people including ▲basic livelihood security recipients and lower income families ▲marriage immigrants recommended in the neighborhood, and ▲excellent volunteers.

 

They haven’t received health checkups, but this time could have systematic overall health examinations including conscious sedation colonoscopy, low dose chest CT or breast ultrasonography as well as basic health screening.

A research team led by Associate Prof. Sung Kyung-rim of the dept. of ophthalmology identifies a link between patients’ psychological state and glaucoma prognosis.

A research team led by Associate Professor Sung Kyung-rim of the department of ophthalmology published the results that glaucoma patients have more pain in the eyeballs and a narrower visual field. The research team analyzed a link of patients’ personality and social and economic factors to the quality of life to discover that patients’ negative mentality affects the health of eyes and the quality of life.

This study was organized by the Korean Glaucoma Society and the results were recently presented at the European Glaucoma Society (EGS) Congress.

Global Center of Excellence in Clinical Trials holds the MFDS-Asan Joint Symposium on rare diseases.

Amid a growing interest of the new drug development industry for rare diseases worldwide to increase the efficiency of R&D efforts for rare disease treatment and secure competitiveness in the world, the Global Center of Excellence in Clinical Trials held a joint symposium with the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) on July 14. A lot of experts in the field at home and abroad attended the symposium where researchers from global pharmaceutical companies and AMC gave presentations on their experience and cases of developing medicine for rare diseases and shared hands-on experience and knowledge about assessment criteria and issues for R&D activities.

A research team led by Prof. Koh Jae-young of the dept. of neurology finds a clue for autism treatment in zinc inside the brain.

A research team led by Professor Koh Jae-young of the department of neurology proved that the homeostasis of zinc in brain cells is broken to increase the level of zinc and activate protein enzyme called MMP that dissolves extracellular matrix, increasing the size of the brain. It was also found that as a result of inhibiting the increase of the brain in size following the increase of zinc in experimental mice as they were administered with minocycline antibiotics, the expression of autism symptoms can be prevented. Autism spectrum disorders are known to be caused by the malfunction of synapsis that delivers signals between neurons or the retarded development of neural circuits, but this study may shed some light on treating audism.

june
AIMS is held under the theme of Translation and Convergence for Future Medicine.’

The Asan International Medical Symposium (AIMS) was held on June 17 under the theme “Translation and Convergence for Future Medicine,”



The symposium provided an opportunity to look at translational and convergence research which is drawing attention as core part of future medicine.



At the symposium, a series of lectures and discussions by scholars at home and abroad took place on ▲learning from the pioneering models of healthcare industry  ▲recent ‘wind of change’ in healthcare technology ▲big data in healthcare ▲convergent biomedical engineering and ▲bringing molecules to the beside.


A thousand operations for Crohn’s disease and experience and know-how in surgery lowers reoperation rates.

A research team led by Professor Yu Chang-sik and Associate Professor Yoon Yong-sik of the Colon and Rectal Surgery department has recently performed the 1,000th operation for Crohn’s disease.

Crohn’s disease is a rare chronic disease where inflammation repeatedly occurs inside the whole intestine. Surgical treatment is required If there are complications such as intestinal obstruction, fistula (opening), and abscess, but in most cases, reoperation is additionally needed, which significantly lowered the quality of Crohn’s disease patients’ life.

AMC performs more than 100 operations for Crohn’s disease every year since 2010. Especially as minimally invasive approach was developed, 50% of overall operations for Crohn’s disease were done through laparoscopic surgery in 2015. Since 80% of Crohn’s disease patients are in their 20s or 30s, laparoscopic surgery is preferred to minimize the surgical scars and enhance the cosmetic effect.

According to the domestic multi-center study, the reoperation rate of Crohn’s disease in six years was 24% on average. Meanwhile, AMC’s reoperation rates in five years and six years after Crohn’s disease surgery were 11.6% and 14.7%, respectively.

Symposium to celebrate the 39th anniversary of Asan Foundation

Asan Foundation invited about 130 specialists in the field to hold a symposium entitled ‘Multicultural Era and Social Integration in Korea at The Westin Chosun Seoul on June 23 and discussed how to improve multicultural education.

The number of phase I clinical trials performed in AMC Clinical Trial Center increased 2.4 times over five years.

The AMC Clinical Trial Center announced that the number of phase 1 clinical trials performed in AMC increased 2.4 times in the recent five years (based on the IRB approvals). The number increased to 48 in 2015.

A clinical trial is conducted in a series of phase 1 to 4 to assess the remedial effect of a drug in humans. Early clinical trials tend to have a higher degree of uncertainty and risk due to lack of accumulated clinical data than later clinical trials. However, since there are important stages that determined success or failure of product development, an organization well equipped with excellent infrastructure including outstanding researchers, cutting-edge equipment and facilities as well as clinical experience and know-how is commissioned to perform trials. In other words, a great number of clinical trials commissioned from partners can make known AMC as a trusted competent institution. An increase of the number of clinical trials mostly at external institutions’ request shows that AMC’s competence of clinical trials in terms of quality, infrastructure, and research capability is recognized.

may
AMC plays a key role to host the ILTS Annual International Congress in Seoul with 1,200 experts from 54 countries

About 1,200 specialists in liver disease from 54 countries attended the 22nd Annual International Congress of the International Liver Transplantation Society (ILTS) held in COEX Convention Center and the Grand InterContinental Hotel from May 3 to 7.



Various academic programs including a symposium, presentation and poster session, and lecture were offered to have in-depth discussions on ▲steroid withdrawal therapy using immunocytes such as regulatory T cells and microphage ▲development of a transplantable artificial liver by inducing differentiation of pluripotent stem cell, and ▲latest knowledge and directions for development of liver transplantation: for instance, standardization of laparoscopic liver resection in a living donor and the development of surgical method and instruments to improve safety.



In particular, the eyes of liver specialists worldwide were on the AMC’s experience performing the largest number of liver transplantation in patients with end-stage liver disease and achieving the highest survival rates by developing unique techniques such as modified right lobe graft and dual living donor liver transplantation.


Performing five thousand liver transplantations is a world record in a single medical institution.

Since the first successful liver transplantation in 1992, AMC’s liver transplantation has performed 5,000 liver transplantations in 24 years for the first time in Korea.

According to a statistical analysis of five thousand liver transplantations performed in AMC, ▲there were 4,211 living-donor liver transplantations which accounts for 84% and ▲789 deceased-donor liver transplantations which accounts for 16%. ▲There were 437 dual living-donor liver transplantations and ▲379 ABO-incompatible liver transplantations.

A research team led by Prof. Han Beom of the department of Convergence Medicine develops a disease classification algorithm through an analysis of genome big data.

Professor Han Beom of the Convergence Medicine department has recently developed a ‘Boom Box’, an algorithm of medical statistics that can distinguish the subtypes of a disease based on their specific characteristics such as biological mechanism and therapies through an analysis of genome big data in cooperation with medical professionals at the Harvard Medical School.

The Boom Box, an algorithm developed by the research team analyses genome big data of the patient group with a certain disease to learn which subtype the disease is grouped in and to discover a new subtype. Also it was possible to seek the utilization of the existing drug as a therapy for other diseases by finding genetic similarities among diseases when distinguishing them.

Generation of knockout mice by Cpf1-mediated gene targeting

A research team led by Professor Lee Sang-wook of the Radiation Oncology department and Assistant Professor Sung Young-hoon of the Convergence Medicine department announced that they successfully generated knockout mice using Cpf1 which is a fourth-generation engineering endonuclease.

Engineering endonuclease is artificial enzyme that cuts out the DNA chain containing the genetic information of a creature like a scissor, which is used to freely cut off and edit the gene.

Cpf1 significantly improves the efficiency of generating genetically modified mice and the effects of activation after genetic modification was very high with more than 70%. If this study is expanded to the research of in vivo genic functions and the development of animal models for human diseases, there is a possibility of developing new drugs.

A Big Data Symposium on ‘AI and Future Medicine’

A symposium organized by the Big Data Center was held on ‘AI and Future Medicine’ at the auditorium (6F, East Building) on May 27. As the interest in artificial intelligence (AI) which is the basic technology for big data analysis has rapidly increased, this symposium was held to discuss the impact of AI on future medicine in three sessions: ▲current status of AI ▲Medical resources and AI and ▲Utilization of AI in medical circle.

AMC is given the highest rating in the healthcare quality assessment of ICU by HIRA.

AMC was given the highest rating in the healthcare quality assessment of ICU by the Health Insurance Review & Assessment Service (HIRA). The number of beds assigned to one specialist in AMC’s ICU is 12.7 compared to 40.4, the average of local general hospitals. It means that the work of AMC’s ICU specialists is less burdensome and close to the level of medically-advanced countries such as the United States and Japan (8-12 beds per specialist). Meanwhile, the number of beds assigned to one nurse of AMC is 0.45 compared to 0.61, the average of local general hospitals.

In AMC, around 450 healthcare providers are working in ICU with the largest number of beds (195 beds) in eight specialty division (Medical ICU, Trauma & Intensive Care, NS-ICU, Neurology ICU, Cardiovascular Surgery ICU, CCU, Pediatric ICU, and Neonatal ICU). Especially the MAT takes proactive measures to prevent the acute exacerbation of patients and the Acute Care Unit is ready for acute and critically-ill patients to whom prompt intervention is essential at the initial stages. 

AMC is designated as a clinical trial training organization in Korea for the first time.

AMC was designated as a clinical trial training organization in Korea for the first time by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety on May 12.

The designation was followed by the amendment of the Medical Instruments Law that makes it mandatory for those performing clinical trials to receive training of less than 40 hours every year to reinforce professionalism and a sense of ethics. Accordingly, the Human Research Protection Center operates training programs and perform assignments such as ▲principal investigation and researchers ▲reviewing committee members ▲clinical trial coordinator ▲clinical trial pharmacist ▲person in charge of quality control.

Complications like acute kidney failure after heart surgery are reduced by half with albumin treatment

A research team led by Professor Choi In-cheol and Associate Professor Lee Eun-ho of the Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine department and Professors Lee Jae-won and Chung Cheol-hyun of the Thoracic & Cardiovascular Surgery department has recently announced that acute kidney failure which is the most common complication of patients who received heart surgery can be reduced by half using albumin. Albumin is a protein in the blood. Hypoalbuminemia which is a sign of the level of albumin in the blood being abnormally low is known to influence kidney failure. The research team conducted a study of 220 patients with hypoalbuminemia selected from adult patients who underwent coronary artery bypass graft (CABG). As a result, the incidence rate of acute kidney failure in the group with albumin administered was 13.7% while the group without albumin administered was 25.7%. It represents that the incidence of acute kidney failure decrease by 47% in the group when albumin was administered.

AMC initiates the development of a next generation domestic endoscope supported by the MOTIE.

AMC was selected as the lead organization of the ‘Research of Core Technology in Biomedical Devices Industry’ being designated by the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy (MOTIE) to start the development of the next-generation endoscope. AMC is developing and commercializing a next-generation smart convergent endoscope that with increased diagnosis and treatment accuracy supported by 69 billion won worth of MOTIE’s funding (a total of 9 billion won of research funds).

The Asan Institute for Life Sciences will complete a next-generation endoscope that can effectively sort out lesions of digestive diseases by developing ‘multi-molecule fluorescence imaging technology’ and ‘channel insertional small-bore endoscope.’

This new endoscope is expected to reduce the number of patients by early finding digestive disorders which was not possible using the existing endoscopic system and make the domestic endoscope’s competence highly regarded in the global market.

Fluorescence properties of antibiotics are discovered and drug permeation and changes are directly observed

A research team led by Professor Kim Myoung-joon of the Ophthalmology department (photo) and Professor Kim Ki-hyean of the Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) has recently announced that they discovered the fluorescence properties of antibiotics to directly observe drug permeation and changes through multiphoton microscopy.

Moxifloxacin and gatifloxacin which are antibiotics known to have fluorescence properties have been used in the form of eye drops to prevent infection or treat the infected cornea after a cataract operation. In the past, it was needed to remove ocular tissue or collect intraocular liquid in order to learn pharmacokinetic properties such as permeation degree and concentration of these two drugs into the cornea. However, if fluorescence properties are utilized, it was possible to do pharmacokinetic measurements through multiphoton microscopy. As a result of the observation, the two drugs had similar multiphoton fluorescence spectrum, moxifloxacin producing stronger fluorescence.

The research team opened up the possibility that antibiotics with fluorescence properties will be used as a contrast dye similar to a contrast medium used for CT or MRI scanning.

 

Prof. Baek Jung-hwan transfers thyroid radiofrequency ablation to around 650 overseas medical professionals.

Professor Baek Jung-hwan of the Radiology department has been transferring thyroid radiofrequency ablation technology that can remove a benign thyroid tumor without surgery to medically-advanced countries such as the United States and France. Thyroid radiofrequency ablation is designed to necrotize a tumor by shooting high frequency waves after inserting a thin needle into the tumor. This procedure developed by Professor Baek Jung-hwan for the first time in the world in 2002 does not leave scars because no incision is made and allows patients to resume normal activity quickly. He performed 2,000 thyroid radiofrequency ablations in AMC.

International Bio-imaging Symposium

AMC’s Center for Bio-imaging of New Drug Development (C-BiND) held the International Bio-imaging Symposium at the Asan Institute for Life Sciences (B1, grand auditorium) on April 29 jointly with the Center for Bio-imaging Guided Drug Discovery and Development (iCBigD3) of Seoul National University, the Bio Imaging Technology Open Innovation Center (BITOIC) of Konkuk University, and the National Institute of Food and Drug Safety Evaluation. At the symposium, around 400 attendees including those from pharmaceutical companies and government-invested research institutes and bio-imaging researchers discussed ▲trends of cutting-edge bio-imaging technology to accelerate new drug development ▲global success cases of new drug development using bio-imaging technology and ▲trends of global policies regarding bio-imaging utilization in new drug development.

april
A research team led by Professor Park Hong-ju measures the hearing of CI pediatric patients with electrocorticography.

A research team led by Professor Park Hong-ju of the department of Otolaryngology measured for the first time in Korea whether the cerebrum of CI patients responds to sounds at the same level as people with normal hearing by conducting the cortical auditory evoked potential (CAEP) test designed to measure and analyze the brainwaves emitted when hearing a sound. Conventionally, audiometry such as the auditory nerve test and auditory brainstem response (ABR) measurement was used to assess the patients’ recognition of sounds during their rehabilitation period after cochlea implantation, but there was no way to check if the auditory cortex properly recognized a sound. If the CAEP test is utilized, it can identify the level of sound recognition depending on loudness and frequencies. It is expected to help the rehabilitation of pediatric CI patients who are unable to express themselves clearly.


Enterovirus curbs Crohn’s disease: It may help develop medicine for inflammatory bowel diseases.

The research team led by Associate Professor Kwon Mi-na of the Convergence Medicine department discovered for the first time in the world that Crohn’s disease which is a rare inflammatory bowel disease that enterovirus causes chronic abdominal pain and diarrhea, curbing Crohn’s disease. Virus are known to threaten your health, but enterovirus rather improves the bowel health by strengthening immunity.

The risk of having stroke increases by 1.9 times after shingles occurs.

A research team led by Professor Kwon Sun-uck of the Neurology department, Associate Professor Kim Sung-han of the Infectious Diseases department, and Associate Professor Yoon Seong-chul of the Medical Statistics department recently published their research results finding that the risk of having stroke and transient ischemic attack (minor stroke) increases by 1.9 times after shingles occurs.

The research team identified the correlation between shingles and stroke/transient ischemic attack using a big data of a cohort of around a million people surveyed by the National Health Insurance Service between 2003 and 2014.

Shingles may serve as a leading cause of stroke in young people. Moreover the risk of having stroke varied depending on the location where shingles occurs. Shingles on the face are more likely to cause stroke than that on the body and legs, and the risk tends to persist for several years after shingles occurred.

This study is significant in that it clearly identified the correlation between shingles and stroke and suggested a relative risk that indicates the burden of disease.

AMC Cancer Institute doubles in the number of patients

The number of patients treated in AMC Cancer Institute doubled over the past 10 years. According to the 2015 Annals recently issued by the Cancer Institute, the number of patients in AMC Cancer Institute doubled to 850,811 in 2015 from 428,274 in 2006.

The number of multidisciplinary cancer care and specialized care cases served in AMC Cancer Center in 2015 reached 20,746. Multidisciplinary cancer care is a customized treatment system for cancer diagnosis, surgery, and radiation therapy for one patient by 5-6 specialists gathered together, which was introduced in 2006 for the first time in Korea. The number of multidisciplinary care and specialized care cases served was 418 in the first year and the accumulated number of the cases served by 2015 reached 103,727, which is a rapid increase over a decade after going through a system complementation and expansion.

The number of cancer surgeries performed is on a steady rise from 17,825 in 2013 to 18,508 in 2014 to 18,815 in 2015. The AMC Cancer Institute also comes to the front in research. The Institute performed 115 cancer clinical trials in 2015, which was about a 37% increase from 88 in 2014. The number of articles published also increased to 471 in 2015 from 446 in 2014.

Institute for Innovative Cancer Research International Symposium

The Institute for Innovative Cancer Research (IICR) International Symposium was held at the grand auditorium (B1F, Asan Institute for Life Sciences) on April 5 with the aim of planning a next-generation development strategy based on the performance achieved for a decade since its establishment in 2006. The Symposium was attended by around 300 stakeholders such as domestic scholars including IICR’s Director Lee Jung-shin and Deputy Director Choi Eun-kyung, foreign scholars including Dr. George Wilding of the MD Anderson Cancer Center and Dr. Lawrence Shulman of the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, and related organization officials including the Director General of the Bureau of Health Industry of the Ministry of Health & Welfare Lee Dong-wook.

The IICR has made achievements such as clinical trials, technology transfer, patent application, and product development in relation to cancer treatment and diagnosis technology development, and established AMC’s unique translational research infrastructure for the efficient clinical trial of study results.

AMC develops a contactless interface program named ‘GestureHook’: a gesture recognition technology that allows a surgeon to control the viewing of medical images.

A research team led by Professor Kim Nam-kug of the department of Convergence Medicine and Assistant Manager Park Jun-yeon of the Medical Information-Development team jointly developed a contactless interface named ‘GestureHook.’ The message hooking technique that converts recognized gestures into specific functions previously controlled by a mouse or keyboard is now integrated into motion sensors, which can be used in an operating room. The GestureHook enables image zooming, scrolling, rotation, and the adjustment of image brightness, contrast and transparency levels through hand motions like moving, pounding, and shaking. Replacing a mouse and keyboard, this option can control various programs used in an operating room such as a 2D and 3D medical image browsing system.

The ‘Asan Smart Cancer Hospital’ app is released to offer customized healthcare service to cancer patients

A mobile healthcare app called ‘Asan Smart Cancer Hospital’ was released to allow cancer patients to see their own treatment process and take care of their health by themselves. The app offers information such as the department to be visited by the patient, the moving line in the examination room, and major treatment history using their chart (operation, anti-cancer treatment, radiotherapy, and gamma-knife treatment), diagnosis, and procedure or surgery details. There is also a function that helps patients to take care of themselves by entering data such as blood pressure and blood glucose levels, BMI, risk of cardiovascular disorders, and metabolic syndrome. Besides, a simple survey of pain, discomfort, anxiety, and depression is provided to help patients to check by themselves changes in their physical and mental conditions .  

Free surgery for an Uzbekistan Korean boy

Li Andrei (male, 5), the third-generation son of a Korean family in Uzbekistan, could not see properly due to the dropped eyelids of both eyes (blepharoptosis). He could hardly open his eyes from birth and Kazakhstan physicians have insufficient medical skills to treat him. His family consisting of the couple, two children, and a grandmother was too poor to even think of going overseas to have him treated. Professor Ra Young-shin of the Pediatric Neurosurgery department learned about his pitiful story helped him to undergo surgery in AMC. The surgery that was performed by Associate Professor Sa Ho-seok of the Ophthalmology department made him see properly.

CardioVascular Summit ? TCTAP 2016, a great success

The CardioVascular Summit – TCTAP 2016 was held in the COEX Convention Center on April 27. The TCTAP 2016 was attended by around 4,000 medical scientists from 43 countries; specifically a medical scientists from Asian countries including Japan, Taiwan, China, and India as well as from other continents including the United States, Germany, Australia, Israel, Egypt, and Chile.

The highlight of the summit was a live surgery demonstration where 10 leading hospitals from 6 countries showed their cutting-edge surgical techniques via satellite relay in real time. Leaders in the field of cardiology from around the world not only gave demonstrations and lectures, but also provided advice about clinical cases that passed a strict screening procedure and shared their know-how, leading to a high level of participant satisfaction.

march
Airway Vista 2016

The 9th Airway Vista was held for two days from March 26 at the Grand Auditorium (6F, East Building) with the theme ‘Recent Paradigm Shifting in COPD & Asthma’



The symposium was attended by around 300 healthcare practitioners including specialists in pulmonology and critical care medicine, allergy, and radiology, nutritionists, nurses, and pulmonary rehabilitation professionals. Presentations and in-depth discussions on ▲ recent insights into COPD and asthma ▲ personalized medicine for COPD and asthma, and ▲ airway disorders were offered.



A number of the world’s greatest scholars who play a leading role in COPD, asthma, and radiology fields attended the symposium.


AMC tops the Korea Consumer Agency Survey funeral home services consumer satisfaction survey .

AMC ranked top in the recent funeral home services consumer satisfaction survey.

This is the result of a survey conducted for two years by the Korea Consumer Agency on 500 people (families) who used ten hospital funeral homes with the largest number of mortuaries among hospitals located in Seoul.

The overall average satisfaction score was 3.59 (out of 5) and AMC scored 3.79 with the highest ratings in all four categories of ▲funeral services (reservation and service guide, etc.) ▲staff service (staff in charge of casketing, corpse dressing, funeral application and arrangements, etc.) ▲facilities and environment (food, funeral supplies, amenities, etc.) ▲costs (parking, funeral supplies, corpse dressing, etc.) 

A foreign medical scientist is first awarded at the 9th Asan Award in Medicine.

The 9th Asan Award in Medicine was held on March 21 at the Grand Hyatt Seoul. This year’s winners were ▲Dr. Oh Byung-ha of the College of Life Science and Bioengineering at KAIST (Award in Basic Medicine) ▲ Dr. Roberto Romero of the Perinatal Research and Obstetrics Intramural Division (NICHD) at NIH (Award in Clinical Medicine) and ▲ Dr. Kim Joon-bum of the Cardiovascular Surgery department at AMC, and Dr. Cho Seung-woo of the College of Life Science and Biotechnology at Yonsei University (Award for Young Medical Scientists). The Award in Basic Medicine, Award in Clinical Medicine, and Award for Young Scientists winners received 300 million won, 250,000 dollars, and 50 million won each, respectively.

AMC is given the highest ratings in the healthcare quality assessment of coronary artery bypass, breast cancer, lung cancer, and pneumonia by HIRA.

AMC was given the highest ratings in the healthcare quality assessment of coronary artery bypass, breast cancer, lung cancer, and pneumonia by the Health Insurance Review & Assessment Service (HIRA). As a result of evaluating the hospital performance of coronary artery bypass from 2013 to 2014 and the treatment of breast cancer, lung cancer, and pneumonia in 2014, AMC received the highest scores in all categories: ▲6 subsections of coronary artery bypass (e.g. the number of surgeries performed ▲18 subsections of breast cancer (e.g. implementation of radiotherapy after breast conservation therapy) ▲22 subsections of lung cancer (e.g. the rate of adjuvant chemotherapy performed within 8 weeks after surgery) ▲8 subsections of pneumonia (e.g. the rate of prescription for antibiotics within 8 hours after hospital arrival), which proves that AMC provides excellent systematic medical services for patient safety.

AMC still retains the highest rating in 26 categories published by the HIRA, such as colorectal cancer, gastric cancer, COPD, and acute myocardial infarction (AMI).

‘A project for alleviating pre-operative anxiety’

The anxiety patients feel before surgery is likely to have negative influence on the results of treatment, so the Innovation Designs Center implemented a ‘project for alleviating pre-operative anxiety.’

A mobile site (http://m.soosool.info) was created for patients who can access it at any time providing surgery-related information produced by surveying patients, caregivers, and nurses. The website was developed from the perspective of patients after hands-on experience and observation of the pre-operative process that patients go through. A policy was changed to offer informed consent in advance. Also the arrival time at operating room was shared among the OR nursing team, wards; the patient transport service team and patients in mild conditions were moved using a stretcher car. As a result, patients became less anxious about what and how surgery will be performed and had enough time to carefully read the informed consent and ask questions. Moreover, the average waiting time for surgery was reduced to 15 minutes from 21 minutes, and the percentage of patients who waited for surgery for more than 30 minutes fell to 7% from 21%. This project helped patients in mild conditions lessen their unnecessary anxiety.

february
A new treatment method using a balloon to widen the end part of the pulmonary artery blocked by a blood clot

The Pulmonary Hypertension & Venous Thrombosis Center successfully performed a balloon dilation of the pulmonary valves in patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension which is designed to widen the pulmonary artery that is blocked by a blood clot.



Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension is a rare disease that increases pressure as the pulmonary artery is blocked by a blood clot. If the blood clot is at the starting part of the pulmonary artery, surgery is possible; on the other hand, if the blood clot is at the end part of the pulmonary artery, surgery is impossible, so that medication is used to just alleviate symptoms. However, the balloon dilation of the pulmonary artery suggests a possible approach to treating chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension.



A thin wire was inserted up to the narrowed pulmonary artery and expanded by inflating a balloon. The patient regained his health and left the hospital after three days. His movement ability after the procedure was measured to show a 1.7 times improvement.


AMC opens the Sleep Clinic for Cancer Patients.

Many cancer patients suffer from various sleep disorders such as insomnia and daytime sleepiness. The AMC Cancer Institute has recently opened the ‘Sleep Clinic for Cancer Patients’ to offer customized care to cancer patients. About 40% of cancer patients are reported to suffer from sleep disorder and if not timely treated, it leads to chronic sleep disorder, lowering their quality of life and ultimately having a negative influence on cancer treatment. The Sleep Clinic suggests an optimal customized treatment for each patient by identifying the main sleep disorders cases, connecting with various departments if that is simply a cancer-related symptom or the adverse effect of cancer treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy

A total of 861 patients receive organ transplantations in AMC last year

The Korean Network for Organ Sharing (KONOS) announced that a quarter of organ transplantations in Korea in 2015 were performed in AMC. According to organ transplantation statistics data from Korea posted on KONOS website (www.konos.go.kr) in February, a total of 3,562 organ transplantations (except cornea and bone marrow) were conducted in Korea and 861 surgeries were performed in AMC, which accounts for 24% of the overall organ transplantations performed in Korea. This is the record for the largest number among domestic hospitals. Since 2000 when KONOS started collecting and publishing organ transplantation statistics, AMC has continuously been setting records.

Looking at the one-year survival rate which is the key indicator of transplantation prognosis, compared to KONOS and UNOS statistics, AMC showed excellent performance with ▲ 98% in kidney (KONOS: 97%, UNOS: 95%) ▲ 98% in liver (85% and 88%) ▲ 95% in heart (86% and 86%) ▲ 96% in pancreas 95% and 85%).

AMC delivers a scholarship of 5 billion won to 1,749 recipients

Asan Foundation held a scholarship award ceremony for 2016 at the auditorium of the Asan Institute for Life Sciences (1F, Education & Research Building) on February 29. The 2016 scholarship worth 5 billion won was awarded to a total of 1,749 recipients including 670 undergraduate students, 839 high school students, 230 children of MIU (soldiers and officers in uniform such as police, firefighter, and maritime police.

American physicians come to learn about liver transplantation

Four renowned professors from American medical schools such as Dr. Khwaja Khalid of Harvard Medical School, Dr. Beduschi Thiago of Miami Medical College, Dr. Kang Sang-mo of the UCSF School of Medicine, and Dr. Babara Kirschner of the University of Minnesota Medical School visited AMC to learn about liver transplantation. Dr. Khwaja Khalid said “AMC’s know-how and system in living donor liver transplantation is the best in the world. During the training period, I was deeply moved by the AMC liver transplantation team’s dedication and expertise. The training was very satisfactory.”

AMC ranks top as the Most Admired Company in Korea for ten years in a row

AMC was chosen as the Most Admired Company in Korea for ten years in a row. AMC hasn’t missed the first place not once since 2007 when the survey was created by KMAC. In the general hospital category, this award is given to the hospital that is rated the best in producing exceptional medical performance and where all stakeholders including physicians, patients, and caregivers faithfully fulfill their social responsibility. Especially for this year, we were highly rated in the categories of sophisticated surgery, international activities for social contribution, and safe treatment of patients.

Living donor liver transplantation for a patient from Israel

Hejaz Shalom (male, 69) who lives in Israel was treated due to liver cirrhosis caused by hepatitis B, swelling in the abdomen, encephalopathy, and variceal bleeding. However his body functions got weakened due to his old age, he was in urgent need of a liver transplantation.

The Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center is one of the representative hospitals in Israel which is a leading country in medical science, but it was impossible to perform a liver transplantation requiring highly sophisticated techniques especially on the old patient with poor health conditions like Mr. Shalom. They looked for the right hospital to request a living donor liver transplantation for him and contacted AMC in August last year. He was hospitalized in AMC on December 28 and received a liver transplantation from his son Mr. Rio on January 26 and has now recovered.

A research team led by Associate Prof. Chung Seok-hoon suggests guidelines for the appropriate time to take sleeping pills

Many people often experience problems falling asleep even after taking sleeping pills.

A research team led by Prof. Chung Seok-hoon analyzed the time suitable for taking sleeping pills and the time elapsed until falling asleep of patients who were prescribed with sleeping pills. As a result, those satisfied with the effectiveness of sleeping pills and fell asleep quite quickly were found to have taken the pills seven hours prior to rising on average.

Patients who were unsatisfied with the effectiveness of sleeping pills were reported to take the pills 30 minutes before going to bed, and it took 135.9 minutes to fall asleep on average. Meanwhile, fifty-eight patients were satisfied with the effectiveness of sleeping pills and they were reported to take the pills 7-3 hours before rising.

Congenital heart valve disease is treated in the womb

A team led by Prof. Won Hye-sung and clinical instructor Lee Mi-young of the Obstetrics and Gynecology department and Prof. Kim Young-hwue of the Pediatric Cardiology department has recently succeeded in performing an aortic valvular balloon angioplasty on a 29th week fetus with congenital severe aortic stenosis in the mother’s womb.

Aortic stenosis (AS) is the narrowing of the aortic valve that connects the left ventricle of the heart and the aorta, which restricts normal blood flow. If it is not properly treated, the heart gets weakened causing heart failure.

It was easy to detect the disease using prenatal ultrasonography on fetuses before and after the 20th week of pregnancy, but clinical intervention was possible only after they were born. The collaboration team inserted a catheter into the aortic valve of the fetus through the mother’s belly while checking the fetus’ heart with a sonogram, and inflated the balloon on the catheter to widen the narrowed valve. The 30-minute procedure widened the fetus’ narrowed aortic valve to allow the recovery of heart functions up to 73% (more than 50% is deemed normal); and no additional heart surgery was needed any more.

Waking up often during the night increases the risk of developing diabetes by 2.6 times

The research team led by Prof. Kim Young-sik and clinical instructor Lee Jung-ah of the Family Medicine department has recently announced that according to his research people who wake up often during the night have 2.6 times higher risk of developing diabetes.

The research team carried out a cohort study of 563 adults (aged between 40 and 75) about the effect of sleep quality on the development of diabetes. The study found that there was a close correlation between sleep quality and the incidence of diabetes. The Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) was used to assess sleep quality. The PSQI is a standardized measure designed to score the quality of sleep by considering sleep latency, the number of nighttime awakenings, sleep disturbances, etc.

january
AMC develops safe implants that melt away in the body

Broken bones are usually fixed with metal implants. When they are completely fixed as bones regenerate over time, the implants should be removed through a secondary procedure, causing anxiety to patients.



Recently Dr. Lee Kang-sik (photo) of the AMC’s Biomedical Engineering Research Center, Prof. Chang Jae-suk and Associate Prof. Lee Dong-ho of orthopedic surgery, and Prof. Kim Yu-chan of the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) have successfully developed a “bioresorbable metal implant” that requires no secondary procedure.



Bioresorbable magnesium used for implants melts out in the body, attracting calcium and phosphorus which mainly constitute a bone to transform them into bone tissue. A follow-up conducted for 6-12 months found that patients were treated well without any adverse effects.


AMC opens the Cancer Patients’ Children Clinic

Emotions like confusion, worries, anxiety, and fear that patients may feel during cancer treatment will also produce negative impact on their children.

Also, patients often feel sorry for not being able to take care of their children. This feeling is worsened by stress making them get upset and depressed about the situation. That’s why it is important to manage the stress patients’ children may feel hoping for a successful treatment of their parents.

To support them overcome such a hard time, AMC opened the Cancer Patient’s Children Clinic on January 19. Opening the clinic is an extension of AMC’s efforts to improve the quality of cancer patients’ life.

AMC signs a business agreement with Seoul Family Court for funding juveniles from low-income or disadvantaged families with medical expenses who are on welfare.

AMC signed a business agreement with Seoul Family Court for treating and paying medical expenses for juveniles from low-income or disadvantaged families who are on welfare. The Court will cooperate in matters required to fund medical expenses and take care of juveniles on welfare and their families while AMC offers support in accordance with the in-hospital guidelines for medical expenses support to disadvantaged patients.

AMC offers therapeutic support to Nepalese girl suffering from a congenital hand anomaly

A Nepalese girl named ‘Maya’ received free treatment at AMC. Her right hand is 10 times bigger than normal due to the constriction band that wraps around her right hand wrist like a rubber band. Learning of her pitiful story, AMC covered her medical expenses and successfully removed the constriction band.


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