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New drug a boost for blood cancer patients
Hope for Multiple Myeloma patients as a drug which aims to increase the length of time Myeloma patients can spend without the disease getting worse has been approved by the Health Sciences Authority. Myeloma is an almost incurable blood cancer in the bone marrow or soft tissue. Symptoms include bone pain, kidney failure and anaemia. According to Professor Chng Wee Joo, Director, NCIS, "There are some Myeloma patients - less than 10 per cent - that, with some of these treatments, have no disease at all for more than 10 years. They may well be cured. But this is rare."
Asian lung cancer tumours may be tougher to treat: Study
A study has found that Asians with lung cancer have tumours that are genetically more complex than previously thought and this could make these patients more challenging to treat. Dr Choo Bok Ai, Senior Consultant, Department of Radiation Oncology, NCIS, gave his opinions about the findings from the study saying that is provides an understanding of the complexity of cancers, which will help in treatment in the future.
Flushed when drinking? There could be cancerous consequences
Drinking alcohol is often unavoidable during Chinese New Year. But if you find yourself getting flushed, it might be time to take notice. According to Dr Kim Guo Wei, Associate Consultant, Division of Surgical Oncology (Upper Gastrointestinal Surgery), NCIS, studies have shown a strong correlation between Asian flushers and esophageal cancer in particular.
Engineered bacteria and broccoli can help keep colorectal cancer away: NUS researchers
Researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) have succeeded in concocting a cocktail of broccoli and bacteria that can seek out and destroy colorectal cancer cells. Dr Ho, along with Associate Professor Matthew Chang and colorectal cancer specialist Dr Yong Wei Peng from National University Hospital, hope that the discovery can be developed into a preventive drug as well as one that can target the remaining cancer cells after the surgical removal of tumours.
New way to better predict stomach cancer
According to the World Health Organization, Stomach Cancer is the 3rd deadliest cancer in the world. In Singapore, it is the 4th most common cause of cancer death in men, and 5th most common in women, claiming 300 to 500 lives every year. The main reason for this is late detection - 2/3 of Stomach Cancer patients are only diagnosed at an advanced stage. The good news is, researchers from the National University Health System (NUHS) and Duke-NUS Medical School have devised a new genetic sequencing technique to help in the early detection of stomach cancer.
Cheaper option for bone marrow transplants?
Blood cancer patients may be able to pick a cheaper option for bone marrow transplants as a panel looks at whether MediShield Life should cover outpatient treatment. The NCIS has been offering outpatient stem cell transplant treatment for myeloma or blood cancer patients since 2011 and according to Professor Chng Wee Joo, Director and Senior Consultant, NCIS, half of myeloma patients would be suitable for outpatient treatment. However, uptake has mainly been dominated by foreigners as locals are deterred by the high out-of-pocket expense that comes with outpatient care.
Mr Wong Yek Wan, who was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndromes, a form of cancer where his bone marrow is unable to produce enough healthy blood cells, used to spend a significant amount of his time travelling to and fro the hospital to receive treatment regularly. Now, thanks to the NCIS' home care treatment, Mr Wong is able to receive treatment at the convenience of his own home, administered by a qualified nurse.