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International Medical Service Center > Medical Services

Major Achievements of NTUH from 1996-2018

1996

First case of a successful artificial heart transplant surgery in Asia

1997

A successful surgery performed on a 93-year old liver cancer patient made NTUH into the Guinness World Record

1998

First successful cardiac cryosurgery in the world

1999

First microstereotatic deep brain stimulation surgery for Parkinson’s disease in Asia

2000

A successful cardiac transplantation surgery performed on the youngest patient in Asia

2001

Invented the KHP therapy as the treatment option with the highest curative rate in nasopharyngeal cancer treatment

First successful case of using skin stem cell for corneal transplantation in the world

2002

First cadaveric lobar lung transplantation in Taiwan

2003

Received worldwide recognition for management of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemics

First successful case of using autologous stem cell transplantation to treat nasopharyngeal cancer in the world

2004

Conducting the world’s largest “HPV-008 vaccines for cervical cancer” clinical trial

2005

The first cross match positive living donor renal transplantation accomplished in Asia

2006

First successful endoscopic potassium-titanyl-phosphate (KTP) laser surgery for recurrent nasopharyngeal cancer patient in the world

Completing the world’s first pharmacogenomic testing to predict interferon therapy efficacy for treating chronic hepatitis C patients

2007

The first successful Bicaval Heart Transplantation to treat both superior vena cava syndrome and severe heart failure in Taiwan

In collaboration with the Department of Pharmacology of the College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, we successfully produced the first F-18 FLT (fluorothymidine) biomarkers for Positron Emission Tomography (PET) in Taiwan. This is the first time in history that both the precursor and the radiotracer of the PET biomarker are produced in the same institution in Taiwan

2008

Successfully saving a drowning person under Extra-Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) for 117 days, the longest record of ECMO use in the world

The first successfully born “Rescue baby” for Thalassemia Major in Asia: We used the prenatal genetic diagnostic technique to select a HLA-matched embryo for a boy with Thalassemia Major as the future donor. The embryo was implanted through in vitro fertilization and the cord blood of the new born baby girl was used to rescue her brother with Thalassemia

First successful heart transplantation with the recipient under Extra-Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) for 16 days without a heart

The Genetic Medicine Team at National Taiwan University Hospital has developed the world's first newborn screening program for Prompt disease

2009

Successfully synthesized Metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) scintigraphy, radiolabeled with iodine-123; independently produced the FDG, radiolabeled with fluorine-18 (F-18), and the F-DOPA, to detect and diagnose neuroblastoma

Designed and developed a new surgical technique, single-hole laparoscopy-assisted gastrectomy, for the treatment of early gastric cancer. With this new method, the wound is only 2 cm in size. The patients can benefit with less pain, better outcome and earlier recovery

Performed the first case in Asia using “Vagal Nerve Stimulator” to treat a young child with intractable epilepsy. This treatment can benefit those patients with intractable epilepsy who cannot be treated by intracranial surgery, antiepileptic medicine or ketogenic diet

Announced successful treatment of recurrent corneal erosions with Nd:YAG laser. The success rate is 85%. The research result was published in “Ophthalmology” and was reported by “Eye World” magazine

Department of Pediatrics, Department of Medical Genetics and Department of Surgery of NTUH worked as a team to provide an integrated treatment for an infant from Thailand born with Citrullinemia. This case has provided a building block for future international medical treatment for critical diseases

Successfully performed Asia’s first case of Deep brain stimulation (DBS) to treat Parkinson disease. Compared with traditional surgery, this procedure can reduce operating time by three to four hours and is able to increase the accuracy rates by 46%

Discovered a medicine for treating Niemann-Pick disease Type C. The new treatment successfully inhibits deterioration of the disease and improves the patients’ quality of life. European Union has approved this medicine for the treatment of Niemann-Pick disease Type C

Introduced a groundbreaking technology in the diagnosis of Leukemia. It combines regular dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) with an innovative analysis algorithm to select high-risk phenotype AML patients for tailored anti-angiogenic therapy, monitor treatment response and evaluate the outcome. The research result has been presented in “Blood

2010

The “Center for Parkinson and Movement Disorders” was certified for the “Symbol of National Quality”

The advanced laparoscopic surgical team successfully completed a single-incision, minimally invasive laparoscopic appendectomy. It was the nation’s first case

The successful treatment of a woodchuck with hepatoma using a mixture of multiple gene therapy and a research paper was published in the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS)

The successful heart transplantation in a positive cross-match patient

2011

Asia's first successful pregnancy and birth by an habitual abortion woman with chromosomal abnormalities by using new gene technologies

Successful treatment of a rare case of urea cycle disorder on a patient from Mainland China

A long-term cohort study conducted by a NTUH medical group found that children born prematurely tend to develop more refractive errors, including myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. This finging has been published in the US Journal Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Science

Since 2001, NTUH's chest surgery medical team has been applying chest endoscopy and laparoscopy for the purposes of esophagectomy and reconstruction. To this date, this team has successfully performed over 100 cases of endoscopic surgery for esophagectomy and reconstruction. Their reserach paper reporting this achievement has already been published by World Journal of Surgery, and also earned the honor of "2010 Outstanding Paper Award" from International Society for Diseases of the Esophagus (ISDE)

2012

The Fertility and Reproductive Medical Team of NTUH completed Asia's first successful case of preimplantation genetic diagnosis using blastocyst biopsy and array comparative genomic hybridization for women who suffer recurrent miscarriages caused by chromosomal translocation. A normal and healthy female baby was delivered in November 2011 (a press release was given in February 2012)

The Department of Medical Research of NTUH and the Department of Chemical Engineering of National Tsing Hua University collaborated to work on the latest Enterovirus (EV) vaccines. Using molecular biology techniques, the joint team researched and developed a virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine. Animal trails of this VLP vaccine on macaque monkeys were successfully completed. The results showed the animals developed a rather good concentration of antibodies, as well as the ability to neutralize EV-71. This research result was published in VACCINE, the pre-eminent journal for reports on all kind of vaccines. This research team is the international forerunner in the research and development of new vaccines for EV

NTUH was the first in Asia to successfully complete a robotic assisted kidney transplant

A multi-center randomized trial led by the Department of Internal Medicine of NTUH confirmed the usefulness of a novel sequential treatment as the first-line treatment for Helicobacter pylori infection - a common pathogen for stomach diseases. In this research, the authors extensively analyzed antibiotic resistance, designed a decision model that could predict the efficacy of anti-H. pylori treatment in different regions around the world, and disseminated an important message that the optimal regimen should be tailored to the local prevalence rate of the antibiotic resistant strains. The results of the study were published in one of the top medical journals, THE LANCET

2013

The pneumothorax research team, using a prospective randomized clinical trial, verified that the addition of mimocycline pleurodesis after the standard treatment of aspiration and drainage for primary spontaneous pneumothorax patients can effectively reduce the rate of recurrence and the probability of a follow-up operation. The study was published in The Lancet, a top medical journal, in 2013

The liver transplantation team successfully harvested a right lobe from a living donor using robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery

2015

Through a collaborative team effort, researchers from National Taiwan University Hospital (Department of Internal Medicine and Department of Medical Genetics), National Taiwan University College of Medicine and Academia Sinica discovered the genes that cause antithyroid drug-induced agranulocytosis. The results of this research were published in Nature Communications

A research team led by Dr. Chien-Chang Li, Director of the Department of Emergency Medicine at National Taiwan University Hospital Yun-Lin Branch, identified a novel association between fluoroquinolone treatment and the risk of aortic aneurysms or aortic dissection. The risk is approximately two times more when compared with non-users. It is the first time in the world this association has been verified by research. Because fluoroquinolone is one of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics, the finding has significant public health implication. The results of this research were published in JAMA Internal Medicine

2016

From 2012, our research team led by Professor Yeong-Shiau Pu and Dr. Chung-Hsin Chen proved that aristolochic acid (AA) was a main carcinogen of upper urinary tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC) in Taiwan. The results of this study have been published in PNAS on May 22, 2012. We then focused on the carcinogenesis of AA and identified single base substitution frequency caused by AA was 10 times of that by other carcinogens, suggesting AA was a very potent carcinogen. In 2016, we reported the identification of TP53 mutation pattern as a part of personalized medicine for UTUC patients. The results of this study have been published in Oncotarget on June 7, 2016. Besides, we proved renal cell carcinoma was also affected by AA in Taiwan. The results of this study have been published in Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. on December 25, 2016.

Professor Ho-Hsiung Lin of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of National Taiwan University Hospital and Dr. Sheng-Mou Hsiao of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of Far Eastern Memorial Hospital jointly published a study about re-treatment after discontinuation of antimuscarinic therapy or continuous antimuscarinic therapy for women with overactive bladder syndrome. The study found that frequent nocturia episodes, which is a suboptimal response, and small bladder capacity may predict persistent antimuscarinic therapy or re-treatment after solifenacin treatment of women with persistent or recurrent factors. The results of this study have been published in the online version of the journal Menopause on September 21, 2016.

2017

The medical team, led by Dr. Tsung-Lin Yang from the Department of Otolaryngology of NTUH, made a world-leading breakthrough in head and neck surgery by developing a trans-hairline approach to treat patients with head and neck tumors. The new surgical technique significantly reduces the surgical impact on head and neck appearance. The results have been published in Head & Neck, the leading journal of otolaryngology. What makes this new minimally invasive surgical procedure possible is the development of an innovative automatic mechanical wound opener for head and neck soft tissue (also referred to as Yang’s retractor). This device has already been successfully patented in the United States, Japan, and many other countries and has received numerous awards and recognition. This novel surgical technique successfully achieves an aesthetic outcome for patients after undergoing head and neck surgery.

Established a model for newborn screening of spinal muscular atrophy Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is the most common lethal inherited disease in newborns. In the most severe cases, infants exhibit at birth or soon after birth weakness and difficulty in breathing and feeding. Taking advantage of the universal newborn screening in Taiwan, it is possible to provide treatment to patients during the most ideal period, which is immediately after the symptoms occur, or even pre-symptomatically. With the parents’ consent, National Taiwan University Hospital’s Newborn Screening Center, in collaboration with all hospitals in Taiwan, used the same sample collected for newborn screening of inherited metabolic diseases to check if a baby had SMA. In total, around 120,000 newborns were screened and 8 were found to have SMA. Although one baby was unfortunately too severe to be treated, the other 7 babies were healthy and had not begun to exhibit any symptoms. Among them, 2 babies were successfully referred and received treatment before they exhibited symptoms. These results were published in the July 2017 issue of The Journal of Pediatrics.

The multicenter clinical study, led by professor Jou-Kou Wang of NTU’s Children’s Hospital, demonstrated a novel Palivizumab prophylaxis protocol for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection. For children with congenital heart disease, this protocol can substantially reduce the hospitalization rate and severity of RSV infection. This is the first large-scale study in a subtropical and tropical area, and this protocol should be used as the treatment guideline for RSV prophylaxis. The results of this study have been published in The Journal of Pediatrics.

Ventricular tachycardia (VT) often causes severe symptoms, such as fainting, heart failure, shock, or even sudden death. VT in the pediatric population frequently causes life-threatening events requiring resuscitation. A study involving many centers around the world showed that the success rate of catheter ablation for left ventricular VT had a success rate of 71%, which is not ideal. Last year, NTUH reported that with ablation, a success rate as high as 90% for all VT patients and up to 93.9% for left ventricular VT patients were achieved. More importantly, many of the children who went into shock were successfully treated with ablation. These results have been published in the International Journal of Cardiology.

2018

The NTUH medical research team, consisting of the Department of Internal Medicine, led by Prof. Jia-Horng Kao and Dr. Chen-Hua Liu of the Hepatitis Research Center, and the Department of Surgery, led by Prof. Yih-Sharng Chen and Sheoi-Shen Wang, conducted the first clinical study in the world evaluating the efficacy and safety of interferon-free direct-acting antiviral agents, sofosbuvir plus ledipasvir or daclatasvir in chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected patients after receiving orthotopic heart transplantation. The study showed that the sustained virologic response (SVR) rate was 100% and treatment tolerance was good, and was published in the January 2018 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases. This report has served as an important reference for the treatment of HCV-infected patients receiving non-liver solid organ transplantation, and has also been listed as a treatment recommendation in the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) and American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) guidelines.

The medical team, led by Dr. Ting-Chen Chang from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of NTUH, made a world-leading breakthrough in female pelvic organ prolapse treatment by developing an individually tailored transvaginal mesh that allows simultaneous surgical procedures on patients for both stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. This novel technique and device solves the problem of requiring two separate surgeries. The new surgical technique and device establishes a new standard for individualized treatment of these patients. The results have been published in Journal of BioMed Research International. This device has already been successfully patented in many countries, including Taiwan, Japan, China, and United States, and has received many awards.

The big data research team, led by Dr. Chien-Chang Lee from the Emergency Department of National Taiwan University Hospital discovered in 2015 that fluoroquinolone antibiotics can increase the occurrence of a rare but fatal disease of the aorta: aortic dissections or aortic aneurysm rupture. Dr. Lee employed a novel epidemiological design (a case-crossover and case-time-control design) to solve the potential confounding bias problem in the analysis of big health claims databases and confirmed the association between fluoroquinolone antibiotics and the risk of fatal aorta diseases. His findings were verified by researchers from Canada and Sweden, which triggered the change of the fluoroquinolone antibiotics prescription guideline by the FDA. The FDA now warns that the powerful drugs should only be used when absolutely necessary. The new warning will be added to the labels and prescribing guidelines of fluoroquinolone drugs. Fluoroquinolones are very commonly used antibiotics for treating pneumonia or urinary tract infection. Each year, tens of millions of fluoroquinolones are prescribed to elderly patients. Dr. Lee’s findings may help reduce the use of fluoroquinolones in elderly patients with minor infections, which can potentially save tens of thousands of people from developing fluoroquinolone-associated aortic dissection or aneurysm ruptures, thus saving thousands of lives annually. This is also the first time that a Taiwanese researcher’s finding has changed worldwide antibiotics treatment guidelines.

 

(Last revised: 2019/04/22 by Joyce)​