R&D Institutions

Resultado da avaliação 2007 na área de Ciências da Saúde

Unidade de I&D

Centro de Gastrenterologia - Coimbra [SAU-Centro-Coimbra-60]

Classificação: Fair

Comentários do painel de avaliação
Sobre a unidade
The “Centro” of Gastrenterology of Coimbra is incorporated in a clinical environment at the Hospital of Coimbra University. The report describing the Research Unit or “Centro’s” research activities arrived too late at the FCT in order to be evaluated together with all the other Research Units. Nonetheless the FCT decided to carry out an evaluation of the report in order to determine whether a site-visit would be necessary. This is the requested information.
The Unit’s report describes the activity of several research groups that constitute the Unit: 3 of these were active in the period from 2003 until 2007; 1 in the period 2003 – 2010; in addition 3 groups encompass the period 2007 – 2010. The research groups that were active until 2007 had as main themes “Helicobacter pylori genotyping” (José Manuel Romãozinho), “Hepatocarcinoma local ablation” (Maximiano Leitão) and “Hemodynamic- directed therapy” (Diniz da Silva Freitas). The 3 groups starting in 2007 have as main themes: “Colorectal cancer prevention” (Maximiano Leitão), “Molecular analysis of pancreatic cyst fluid in predicting the potential of malignancy” and “Molecular analysis of endosonography-guided aspirates in the diagnosis of pancreatic carcinoma” (the Head of both being José Manuel Silva Pontes). The group that apparently spans the longest period (2003 – 2010) as described in the report is that led by Carlos Rico Sofia that has as theme “GERD/endoscopic treatment”.
All the themes indicated in the report cover relevant issues in Gastrenterology. In terms of scientific contributions this Unit, however, has a rather modest record. Of the papers mentioned in the application only very few were published in international peer-reviewed Journals. One would expect a much larger publication record in this kind of Journals from a FCT Research Unit that lists 10 (FTE) researchers in 2003, a number that increases to 12 in 2006. Furthermore, one is surprised that only 2 PhD theses appear to have been completed within the Research Unit until 2006. All this is below the standards that the FCT has established as criteria for this evaluation, namely the FCT considers that the grade GOOD should be given to Units “in which one or few groups did high quality international research which leads to some contributions to the field while most groups did good, solid research at international level leading to incremental contributions to the field”. Of course “research at the international level” necessarily implies the publication of an appreciable number of papers in international peer-reviewed journals and a corresponding appreciable number of citations. This target cannot be considered to have been achieved by this Unit in the period being evaluated. Regarding citations, more specifically the most salient observations are the following: the paper “Controlled trial of liquid monopolar electrocoagulation in bleeding peptic ulcers” of Freitas et al (Am. J. Gastroenterol.) published already in 1985 received until now only 48 citations and appears to be one of the most cited of the group (but no citations since 2005), followed by that of Pontes et al “Endoscopic ultrasonography in the treatment of esophageal varices by endoscopic sclerotherapy and band ligation – do we need it?” (Eur, J. Gastroenterol. Hepat.1995) that, however, received only 19 citations. We should note that some more recent papers appear to have the potential to overtake these earlier publications with respect to impact, as indicated by the number of citations, since they have a slightly larger average number of citations/year at the moment, such as the paper of Areia et al “External validation of a classification methylene blue magnification chromoendoscopy in premaglinant gastric lesions” (Gastrointestinal endoscopy 2008), that of Romãozinho et al “Dieulafoy’s lesion: management and long-term outcome” (Endoscopy 2004), and two papers of Leitão et al “A survey of biogenic amines in commercial Portuguese wines” (Food Control 2005) and Leitão et al ”Biogenic amines in wine: influence of eonological factors” (Food Chemistry 2008).
Notwithstanding the potential of this group with respect to the quality of clinical expertise and clinical teaching in Gasterenterology, what is not in doubt but is also not under scrutiny at this moment, this Research Unit does not demonstrate a scientific performance that can be labeled GOOD according to the FCT criteria; at most it may receive the grade FAIR, since some groups did satisfactory research, however, without a significant impact to the international field, as evidenced by the modest number of citations.


Prof. Fernando Lopes da Silva
Coordenador do Painel das Ciências da Saúde

Sobre os grupos de investigação
Colorectal Cancer Prevention [RG-SAU-Centro-Coimbra-60-3132]
GERD/Endoscopic Treatment [RG-SAU-Centro-Coimbra-60-3177]
Helicobacter pylori Genotypes [RG-SAU-Centro-Coimbra-60-3134]
Hemodynamics-directed therapy [RG-SAU-Centro-Coimbra-60-3186]
Hepatocarcinoma local ablation [RG-SAU-Centro-Coimbra-60-3178]
Molecular analysis of endosonography-guided aspirates in the diagnosis of pancreatic carcinoma [RG-SAU-Centro-Coimbra-60-3173]
Molecular analysis of pancreatic cyst fluid in predicting the potential of malignancy [RG-SAU-Centro-Coimbra-60-3172]

Comentários da unidade

Durante o período de tempo a que reporta o relatório, o Centro de Gastrenterologia sofreu um profundo processo de reestruturação. Passou por mudanças de coordenador e também de local físico. Neste momento, o Centro tem dois projectos financiados pela FCT em pleno desenvolvimento: PIC/IC/83122/2007 e UTAustin/MAT/0009/2008, tendo inclusivamente este último dado já origem a diversos artigos (Endoscopy 2008; 40 (Suppl 1) A 189; preprint em www.mat.uc.pt/preprints/ps/p0835.pdf; submetido www.mat.uc.pt/preprints/ps/p0801.pdf) e a 1 comunicação nacional e 4 internacionais. Dois investigadores do Centro têm intenções de doutoramento já aprovadas pela Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Coimbra: “Estudo da Resistência Primária e Secundária do Helicobacter pylori aos agentes antimicrobianos” (financiamento PIC/IC/83122/2007) e “Endomicroscopia confocal na doença inflamatória intestinal-pesquisa e validação de áreas de aplicação”. Esta última será objecto de candidatura a financiamento no âmbito do Acordo de Cooperação entre Portugal e a Harvard Medical School e também aos Projectos de Investigação Científica e Desenvolvimento Tecnológico em todos os Domínios Científicos da FCT. No âmbito dos estudos levados a cabo no Centro foram publicados 32 artigos em revistas internacionais indexadas, 12 dos quais já foram objecto de citação (Revista Espanola de Enfermedades Digestivas, 100 (8): 462 2008; Hepato-Gastroenterology, 55 (84): 1020 2008; Digestive Diseases and Sciences, 53 (8): 2144 2008; European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, 19 (8): 665 2007; Hepato-Gastroenterology, 53 (70): 536 2006; Revista Revista Espanola de Enfermedades Digestivas, 98 (5): 359 2006; Endoscopy, 38 (1): 101 2006; Colorectal Disease, 7 (4): 327 2005; Hepato-Gastroenterology, 51 (57): 876 2004; Endoscopy, 36 (5): 416 2004; American Journal of Gastroenterology, 98 (12): 2672 2003; Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 17 (3): 333 2003). É de realçar que 17 destes artigos foram publicados em 2008 e no corrente ano, não tendo decorrido ainda tempo suficiente para que sejam citados. Nos comentários efectuados pelo painel de avaliação são atribuídos dois artigos a Leitão et al (Food Control 2005 e Food Chemistry 2008) que não correspondem a trabalhos realizados por investigadores do nosso centro.