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Can Gastric Caner be Detected at An Early Stage?

NTU's Bio-Medical Team Solves the Mystery of Helicobacter Pylori as a Carcinogenic Agent

    According to a survey by the World Health Organization,every year there are about 800,000 people worldwide who show symptoms of gastric cancer, a malignant tumor with a very high rate of incidence. In Asia, Japan and Taiwan are known to have an ultra high rate of incidence. Taiwan, for example, is witnessing an incidence rate of 8.52 to 9.68 per 100,000 of the population. The Department of Health of the Executive Yuan ranked gastric cancer as the 5th highest death-causing cancerous diseases in Taiwan. Lu-Ping Chow, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at NTU, pointed out that, since there are no telltale signs of gastric cancer in its early stage, a patient's case can only be diagnosed through barium-based X-ray examination of his upper digestive tracts or by using endoscopy, plus necessary microscopic examination of his pathological tissues.

    The bio-medical research team led by Professor Lu-ping Chow has identified GroES, a virulent factor induced by Helicobacter Pylori, as a biological indicator of the presence of gastric cancer. Utilizing serum samples that are clinically available, Professor Chow's research team seeks to identity positive responses from the patients' sera. If the test results are positive, patients are advised to take endoscope examination. Such a measure is conducive to the early discovery of gastric cancer. It enhances its cure rate, and as such is beneficial to the patients' physical wellbeing. In sum, Professor Chow's finding is a record-setting and ground-breaking achievement in medical research.

    The discovery of GroES by Professor Chow and his research team expanded on the research findings of the 2005 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine.

Professor Lu-ping Chou
At the announcement ceremony, Professor Lu-ping Chou shared with NTU's biological-medical team their research findings which are highly visionary and medically applicable.

    Australian Nobel Laureates Dr. Barry J.Marshall and Dr. Robin Warren, discovered Helicobacter Pylori as a common cause of infection for digestive ulcer and gastritis. Their findings led medical circles to attach importance to the role Helicobacter Pylori played in inducing gastric cancer. Consequently, in 1991 the World Health Organizaiton classified Helicobacter Pylori as a Type I carcinogen. Subsequent researches indicate that the infection by Helicobacter Pylori would increase the incidence rate of gastric cancer by 2.7 to 12 times. Helicobacter Pylori promotes the abnormal division of the cells, induces long term inflammation of the stomach, and creates large amounts of new proteins, which result in the structural and bio-chemical damage to the epithelial cells.

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Copyright 2006 NTU Secretariat

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