Dr Muy-Teck Teh, a cancer expert from Queen Mary University of London presented his breakthrough oral cancer test at one of China’s largest education exchange conferences last month.
Dr Muy-Teck Teh, Senior Lecturer in Head and Neck Cancer at Queen Mary’s Institute of Dentistry, represented the UK at the 11th China-ASEAN Education Week in Guiyang, China, on 26 July.
Launched in 2012, Dr Teh’s ‘quantitative Malignancy Index Diagnostic System’ (qMIDS) is the world’s first diagnostic test for the early detection of oral cancers. It has been validated on over 460 oral cancer patients from the UK, Norway, China and India, with over 90 per cent accuracy compared to conventional tests.
The digital test is less invasive than standard methods and it takes less than 90 minutes to receive the results, compared to current gold standard histopathology which takes up to a week.
China has the third highest rates of oral cancer, following India and the USA, and the UK ranks 11th worldwide. Dr Teh hopes that qMIDS can revolutionise oral cancer diagnosis by providing a cost-effective, fully automated and rapid digital diagnostic system.
China-ASEAN Education Week is hosted by the Chinese ministries of Foreign Affairs and Education, and aims to promote cultural and educational exchanges between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries. It primarily engages with countries involved in President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative, which focuses on connectivity and cooperation between Eurasian countries.
Approximately 3,000 guests attended the conference’s opening activities, which spanned education, culture, sports and health.
Dr Teh presented qMIDS at a new sub-forum of the conference, the Stomatology Education Forum, which was hosted by the Affiliated Stomatological Hospital of Guizhou Medical University (GMU) focusing on oral medicine which lies at the interface between medicine and dentistry.
Queen Mary has partnered with GMU since June 2014, with an aim to increase international exchanges and raise research standards in the field of head and neck cancer. Dr Teh visits GMU on an annual basis to conduct joint research workshops and experiments using GMU’s clinical samples.
Dr Teh developed qMIDS at Queen Mary and independently validated it in China with GMU. He is currently exploring the possibility of patenting qMIDS at GMU for subsequent commercialisation in China, and hopes that the test will be available in Chinese hospitals by 2023.
Commenting on the conference and Queen Mary’s partnership with GMU, Dr Teh said: “It has been a true privilege to represent the UK at this prestigious China-ASEAN exchange platform, and to join 40 well-known stomatological experts from across China. The conference exhibits the latest cutting-edge products and technologies in the field of stomatology, so it is a fantastic platform for cultural communication and exchange.
“The collaborative research initiative with GMU has enabled us to transfer qMIDS technology to China and, at the same time, examine the roles of ethnicity and socioeconomic factors in cancer biology.
“If we could implement this test in China - or even the UK - at-risk patients could potentially receive earlier less invasive and more effective treatment; this would significantly improve their chances of survival. Implementing the test could also alleviate long-term public healthcare costs.”