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Team at QU develops test for early detection of stomach cancer

Article - April 14, 2016

A cutting-edge research project by a team of Qatar University (QU) researchers and external collaborators using robotic endoscopy for early detection of stomach cancer will contribute to advancing healthcare facilities in Qatar and beyond.

L–R: ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR AT QU-CENG MECHANICAL & INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING DEPT DR JOHN-JOHN CABIBIHAN, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON DR W JONG YOON, AND QU POSTDOCTORAL FELLOW DR XIANMING YE. (PHOTO: QU)

The team includes lead principal investigator of the project and Associate Professor at Qatar University College of Engineering (QU-CENG) Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department Dr John-John Cabibihan, Research Professor at the University of Washington Mechanical Engineering Department Dr Eric Seibel, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Dr W Jong Yoon, and Associate Professor at Tufts University Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Dr Sameer Sonkusale.

They have completed a research project entitled “Integrated Bio-Sensors and Automated Instrumentation for Early Stomach Cancer Detection Using Flexible Capsule Endoscope”, a state-of-the-art technology that will serve the healthcare sector in Qatar and worldwide. The project was funded by the National Priorities Research Program (NPRP) of the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF).

The team developed technologies that can make scanning the stomach possible for the Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) bacteria that especially inhabit the bottom of the stomach. Earlier studies showed that this bacterium might lead to gastric cancer. They also developed a sensor to detect various concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) and ammonia (NH3). These two are significant biomarkers of H pylori infection in the stomach. To transport this sensor to the bottom of the stomach, they designed a tethered robotic endoscopic capsule than can be swallowed by the patient for improving the stomach inspection procedures.

Commenting on the project, Dr Cabibihan said: “Cancer remains a deadly disease affecting millions around the world and from all walks of life. According to the recent data from the World Health Organization, over 14 million new cases of cancer were diagnosed. Robotic endoscopy makes preemptive and preventative procedures possible, which will ultimately reduce the mortality rates from gastric cancer.”

He added: “With health and wellness being one of the priority areas of QU’s research roadmap, we are ensuring that our research projects contribute to addressing core national health challenges, and to provide effective solutions to health concerns in the community, in line with the needs of the fast-growing healthcare sector in Qatar.”

CENG Dean Dr Khalifa Al-Khalifa said: “This research project is an experience of many other projects that demonstrate the level of competency and excellence in research that is taking place at CENG. It reflects the college’s collaborative efforts with local and international institutions to advance the healthcare sector in Qatar, and to promote research on the growing global issue of cancer to ensure early detection, prevention, treatment and care. It also shows QU’s commitment to offering high-quality research to serve the community in line with Qatar’s growth and national vision towards a knowledge-based economy.”

 

About Qatar University:

Qatar University is one of the leading institutions of academic and research excellence in the GCC region. It provides high quality undergraduate and graduate programs that prepare competent graduates, primed to shape the future of Qatar. The organization’s strong relationship with Qatari society is reflected in its community service efforts and in its vibrant research portfolio that addresses relevant local and regional challenges, advances national goals towards a knowledge-based economy, and contributes actively to the needs and aspirations of the society.

For more information, visit: www.qu.edu.qa

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