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10
Jun
2021

Singapore-UK Team to develop a novel device to reduce chemotherapy side-effects

National University Health System

NUH Media ReleaseNCIS Media ReleaseNUHS Media Release
10
Jun
2021

New device jointly developed in S’pore may reduce numbness, pain from chemotherapy

The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

Researchers from NCIS, NUS N.1 Institute for Health and British med-tech industry partner Paxman Coolers are working together to develop a new device to prevent or reduce numbness and pain in the arms and legs of cancer patients caused by certain types of chemotherapy. Asst Prof Raghav Sundar, Consultant, Department of Haematology-Oncology, NCIS, who is leading the research team in Singapore, said in severe cases, chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) could affect patients’ mobility and lead to delays or discontinuation of treatment. The treatment of CIPN is an unmet and increasingly urgent clinical need, and a preventive solution will hopefully improve patients’ quality of life.
 
Reports highlighted that cooling of the limbs during chemotherapy, or cryotherapy, has shown to be effective in preventing or reducing the severity of CIPN. The team’s device could provide cooling at a temperature that is tolerable and consistent throughout the duration of the chemotherapy session, which varies from one to four hours. The temperature could also be adjusted to what patients can bear.
 
The team was awarded a translational grant from the National Research Foundation Central Gap Fund in May, which is administered by the National Health Innovation Centre Singapore, and is working on the final prototype for use in clinical trials.


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8
Jun
2021

Blood test can tell if cancer drug works in 24 hours

The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

​Dr Yvonne Ang, Associate Consultant, Department of Haematology-Oncology, National University Cancer Institute, Singapore, who explained that a scan is usually done about eight weeks after lung cancer patients begin targeted therapy to block a protein known as the epidermal growth factor receptor. It is the most common treatment for such patients. Dr Ang opined that the NUS developed sensor, which can be used to diagnose cancer early by detecting extracellular vesicles in the bloodstream, has the potential to inform clinicians on whether patients would need additional or different therapies.

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4
Jun
2021

【冠状病毒19】癌症病患可接种疫苗 超过300个癌症病患预约接种 (COVID-19 – Cancer patients can get COVID-19 jabs, more than 300 patients have booked appointments)

Mediacorp News

Following the multi-ministry task force update on 31 May that cancer patients can be vaccinated, NCIS and the National Cancer Centre, Singapore, have offered its patients the option to book appointments for COVID-19 vaccination. Dr Samuel Ow, Consultant, Department of Haematology-Oncology, NCIS, said that manpower at NCIS has been adjusted to help address patients’ concerns and questions on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccination, as well as to manage appointments. Should any patient develop symptoms after vaccination, they can call the NCIS CancerLine to seek support.

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2
Jun
2021

COVID-19: Pesakit barah rawatan aktif sambut baik tawaran vaksin (COVID-19: Cancer patients undergoing treatment welcome vaccine offer)

Berita Harian © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

BERITA Mediacorp reported that following the latest Government announcement that cancer patients may now receive their COVID-19 vaccination, NCIS plans to vaccinate at least 5,000 cancer patients who are currently undergoing treatment at the Institute.
 
Among the NCIS patients is Mdm Satimah Suratman who is currently undergoing immunotherapy for breast cancer. She welcomes the offer to be vaccinated and has already booked herself an appointment for her first dose injection.
  
BERITA Mediacorp also interviewed Dr Chee Cheng Ean, Senior Consultant, Department of Haematology-Oncology, NCIS, who explained that cancer patients who have had a transplant in the last three months, as well as those with severe allergies may not be suitable to get vaccinated. They should discuss with their doctors to check if they are suitable. Dr Chee also shared that the side effects for cancer patients would not be any different. The side effects post vaccination are quite mild – for instance, it is possible to get a mild fever, a headache, muscle aches and soreness at the site of the injection.


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17
May
2021

Masak hidangan Aidilfitri lebih sihat bersama keluarga dengan insiatif baru NCIS (New NCIS initiative enables families to cook healthier Aidilfitri dishes together)

Berita Harian © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

​BERITA Mediacorp reported that the National University Cancer Institute, Singapore's (NCIS) Healthy Home Cooking Demonstration video series is a new initiative by NCIS to encourage families to cook and enjoy healthy, nutritious and tasty meals at home. The first video of the series demonstrated a healthier take on two traditionally consumed Hari Raya dishes – kuah sayur lodeh (vegetables in coconut milk) and ayam masak merah (chicken cooked in tomato sauce) – that were curated by Mdm Shakirah Mohd Yusuf of Kirah’s Cake Bars & Savoury Dishes, with the advice of NCIS dieticians who provided tips on making the dishes healthier without compromising on taste. 

BERITA also interviewed Dr Chee Cheng Ean, Senior Consultant, Department of Haematology-Oncology, NCIS, who explained that the video series is a good way to educate patients and caregivers on healthier and easy to prepare recipes of popular dishes. “Home-cooked meals tend to be lower in sugar, salt and fat content because we are more aware of the ingredients that go into the dishes that we cook. Home-cooking can also be turned into a family activity to teach children about the importance of a balanced and healthy diet, and have them start to appreciate this from young,” she added.

The NCIS Healthy Home Cooking Demonstration video series can be viewed on NCIS Facebook and its YouTube channel. 

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9
May
2021

There's another vaccine you should be getting – against cervical and penile cancer

Channel NewsAsia

​CNA Lifestyle quoted Dr Lim Li Min, Associate Consultant, Division of
Gynaecologic Oncology, NCIS and NUH, who discussed vaccines for human
papillomavirus (HPV). Dr Lim noted that women with cervical pre-cancers
are usually asymptomatic until the development of cervical cancer, where
one can present with symptoms such as bleeding after sexual intercourse,
bleeding after menopause and abnormal vaginal discharge. As with other
vaccines, Dr Lim noted that the HPV vaccine does not provide 100 per cent
protection against HPV infection.

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28
Apr
2021

科学家:聚维酮碘基消毒剂可降低感染新冠病毒的风险 (Scientists: Povidone-iodine based disinfectant can reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission)

Others

China Daily reported on the study findings highlighting that researchers from National University Health System have found that using povidone-iodine throat spray or the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine can reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection in healthy individuals in areas with high transmission rates.  The findings were published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases, following a randomised clinical trial conducted among 3,037 migrant workers quarantined at Tuas South Dormitory in May last year. 

The study was led by A/Prof Raymond Seet, Senior Consultant, Division of Neurology, National University Hospital and clinician-scientists from National University Health System, including Prof Paul Tambyah, A/Prof Mikael Hartman, A/Prof Alex Cook, Dr Amy Quek and others.

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26
Apr
2021

Anti-malaria drug, throat spray found to cut Covid-19 infection risk

The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

The Straits Times highlighted that using povidone-iodine throat spray or the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine has been found to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection in healthy individuals in areas with high transmission rates.  The findings were published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases, following a randomised clinical trial conducted among 3,037 migrant workers quarantined at Tuas South Dormitory in May last year. 


The study was led by A/Prof Raymond Seet, Senior Consultant, Division of Neurology, National University Hospital and clinician-scientists from National University Health System, including Prof Paul Tambyah, A/Prof Mikael Hartman, A/Prof Alex Cook, Dr Amy Quek and others.

A/Prof Seet said that repurposing accessible existing drugs such as povidone-iodine and hydroxcloroquine is a practical way to curb the spread of the virus, especially in regions where Covid-19 is rampant.  He added that he, Dr Quek and A/Prof Hartman were early volunteers in the dormitories, where they ran medical posts and screened residents. He noted that the number of dorm infections was overwhelming at the start of the outbreak.  That was when they got together with Prof Tambyah and A/Prof Cook to come up with the idea of running a study, all with the overarching aim to help ease the burden on the healthcare system.  

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26
Apr
2021

Hao 963FM: 健康娜件事 - 遗传性乳腺癌基因是来自母亲?Is hereditary breast cancer gene inherited from mothers?

Others

Hao 963FM conducted a radio and Facebook Live interview with Prof Lee Soo Chin, Head and Senior Consultant, Department of Haematology-Oncology, National University Cancer Institute Singapore, who spoke on the prevalence of hereditary breast cancer and how it affects women in Singapore. Prof Lee also shared the process of genetic testing and counselling for BRCA genes to assess breast cancer risk, as well as the procedure and treatment options available that could reduce the risks of cancer.

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24
Apr
2021

'Breakthrough’ therapy for the most common type of leukaemia among children approved in Singapore

Channel NewsAsia

CNA reported that CAR-T (chimeric antigen receptor T-cell) therapy, a new type of cell therapy for cancer, marketed commercially as Kymriah, has been approved for use in Singapore, providing another treatment option for patients with certain types of advanced blood cancers which are not in remission despite having gone through other forms of treatment.

CNA quoted A/Prof Allan Yeoh, Head and Senior Consultant, Division of Paediatric Haematology and Oncology, Khoo Teck Puat – National University Children's Medical Institute, National University Hospital, who shared that several studies have shown "significant improved patient outcomes with durable responses" with the new treatment. This gives hope to eligible patients, including paediatrics patients, in Singapore and the region who are seeking a different way to treat their cancer because previous treatments have not kept their cancer in remission, he added.

Commenting on how cancer treatment can be a heavy financial burden, A/Prof Yeoh said that patients in need may be eligible for financial support under various government assistance schemes and added that there is also the National University Cancer Institute Singapore Cancer Fund that caters to patients in need who may require additional support.  

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20
Apr
2021

Can Timed Delivery of Chemotherapy Drugs Make A Difference

Others

CNA938 interviewed Dr Andrea Wong, Senior Consultant at the Department of Haematology-Oncology at NCIS, who discussed the various symptoms of glioblastoma – an aggressive type of brain cancer – and the standard treatment for the condition. Dr Wong explained that while the treatment may differ from patient to patient, the majority of glioblastoma patients undergo surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. She noted that some oncologists recommend night-time dosing of temozolomide when patients are not on radiotherapy, to reduce the side effects. She also discussed the principle of chronotherapy, which aims to improve treatment outcomes by administering medication in accordance to the biological rhythms of a patient. 

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8
Apr
2021

Anti-cancer drug can treat Covid-19, Singapore-US study shows

The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

A collaborative study led by Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in the US and involving researchers from National University Cancer Institute Singapore (NCIS) found that the chemotherapy drug, topotecan, can reduce the severity and death rates of infection by Sars-CoV-2 virus and may potentially be used to treat patients with moderate to severe forms of COVID-19.
 
Co-author of the study, Dr Anand Jeyasekharan, Consultant and Assistant Director of Research (Medical Oncology), Department of Haematology-Oncology, NCIS, said with the drug used in cancer treatment for over 25 years, it is globally available and inexpensive, with a well understood safety profile in humans. This research is therefore timely given the lack of universal access to vaccines.
 
The completion of the lab studies has led to a phase one clinical trial in India, given the high numbers of moderate to severe COVID-19 cases there. Dr Jeyasekharan’s team has already secured a research grant for the clinical trial to establish the lowest dose of topotecan that can safely reduce COVID-19 inflammatory markers in patients. The research is supported by MOH’s National Medical Research Council and the National Research Foundation. If the phase one clinical trial is successful, phase two will start, with a larger pool of patients recruited from different countries.
 
Ch8 News also featured an interview with Prof Lee Soo Chin, Head and Senior Consultant, Department of Haematology-Oncology, NCIS, who explained how the cancer drug could be repurposed for COVID-19 treatment.


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7
Apr
2021

Scientists here find way to improve outcome for breast cancer patients

The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

​Straits Times reported that researchers from National Cancer Institute Singapore, NUS' Cancer Science Institute of Singapore and A*STAR's Genome Institute of Singapore, together with their international research collaborators in Denmark, have discovered a way to use an alternative drug to counter resistance to a form of targeted therapy used to treat patients with HER2-positive breast cancer. The team, co-led by Prof Lee Soo Chin, Head & Senior Consultant, Department of Haematology-Oncology, NCIS, focused on a protein called HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2) which stimulates cancerous growth of breast cells when present in excessive amounts.

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7
Apr
2021

International Research Collaboration identifies a globally accessible treatment strategy for COVID-19

National University Health System

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