Sumi, left, Dr Al Ohaly, second from left, and Dr Al Naieb, right,
at the press conference
Bahrain doctor uses new cancer surgery technology
Manama, January 15, 2014
A surgeon in Bahrain has conducted the first bladder cancer operation in the Middle East using revolutionary technology, which could save tens of thousands of terminally ill patients across the region.
Arabian Gulf University (AGU) professor Dr Ziad Al Naieb believes the Japanese-developed technology will also be an essential part of early detection of some cancers including those in the bladder and colon, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
He performed the hour-long surgery recently at Al Jawhara Centre for Molecular Medicine and Inherited Disorders.
The male patient, whose name was not released, was said to have suffered no side effects and was discharged the following day.
The equipment, called Aladuck, was provided by Japanese company SBI Pharmaceuticals, as part of bilateral co-operation between Manama and Tokyo.
"This will help with the early detection of bladder cancer," said Dr Al Naieb.
"The patient takes the amino acid, 5-aminolevulinic acid, orally four hours before the surgery.
"This makes the cancerous cells light up red under an ultraviolet light.
"That makes it easier for us to determine the tumours as well as the satellite cancerous cells around the tumour.
"It's an effective way of trying to ensure the cancerous cells do not come back."
He was speaking during a press conference yesterday to announce details of the operation at the centre in Zinj, in the presence of AGU president Dr Khalid Al Ohaly, Japanese Ambassador Shigeki Sumi and other health officials.
Dr Al Naieb said that Bahrain does not have many cases of bladder cancer, but the method could be used to identify other specific types of malignant tumours.
"This technology could be used to detect various forms of cancer in an exploratory manner, including colon and intestinal cancer," he explained.
"By using it, we would be able to find the targeted cells and go in more accurately.
"It is hard to judge how many people could benefit because we don't know the exact figures of people suffering from different cancers.
"Roughly tens of thousands of people in the Middle East could potentially benefit from this new treatment.
"Because there are no side effects to taking this medication orally, many GCC countries will begin to adopt it, especially Saudi Arabia.
"It should be an essential part of early detection for some cancers such as those in the bladder and colon.
"Further research is currently being conducted to see how it can be used for other types of cancer as well."
Dr Al Ohaly hopes medical students at the university would learn to perform the operation to help cancer patients in the future.
"We're pleased that this experience is being passed onto our students, who will one day benefit the GCC," he said.
"Part of the university's direction is to continue to connect globally, not just with Japan but with various countries."
Meanwhile, Sumi said the success of the surgery follows the signing of a memorandum of co-operation between the Japanese and Bahraini Health Ministries.
"In the case of the Middle East, GCC countries in particular, the economic development and population increase led to the medical demand for tackling new lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes," he said.
"At the end of this month, experts from Japan International Co-operation Agency will visit Bahrain and discuss further co-operation in the field of medicine with the Health Ministry in Bahrain." - TradeArabia News Service