future of health care
Rice-led initiative looks to make cancer detection affordable, equitable
A new initiative from two Houston organizations is hoping to develop affordable health care innovation for early cancer detection.
The Center for Innovation and Translation of POC Technologies for Equitable Cancer Care, or CITEC, will be managed through Rice360 Institute for Global Health Technologies, which is part of an ongoing international effort to prepare the future global health workforce.
Rice will be joined by Baylor College of Medicine, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Sao Paulo, Barretos Cancer Hospital in Brazil, Mozambique Ministry of Health, and Universidade Eduardo Mondlane in Maputo, Mozambique.
“While early detection and treatment of cancer can improve survival, available tests for early cancer detection are too complex or too expensive for hospitals and clinics in medically underserved areas,” CITEC co-principal investigator Rebecca Richards-Kortum, a Rice bioengineering professor and director of Rice360, says in a news release.
The project is part of a five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to launch a top-tier research center in the Texas Medical Center to develop point-of-care technologies that improve early cancer detection in low-resource in America and internationally that are effective and affordable. Rice’s leading collaboration group to help secure the grant includes engineers, oncologists and international global health partners from three continents. in low-resource settings in the United States and other countries.
CITEC will aim to target development of POC tests for oral, cervical and gastrointestinal cancers through the first-year grant from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) of $1.3 million—up to $6.5 million over five years. CITEC is funded by a NIBIB grant.
Last month, NIBIB announced that CITEC will be one of six research centers that it will support, along with an additional center, through its Point of Care Technology Research Network (POCTRN).
Dr. Sharmila Anandasabapathy, vice president of global health at Baylor College of Medicine, and Tomasz Tkaczyk, bioengineering professor at Rice, are the other two cco-principals on the initiative.
“CITEC will identify needed technologies, accelerate their development, evaluate their performance and impact in diverse settings and train local users and technology developers to create and disseminate more equitable POC technologies,” Anandasabapathy says in the release.