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Singapore Offers New Hope to Cancer Patients
Date:4/10/2010

Singapore is flexing muscles in cancer research seemingly all out of proportion to its size. The country has carved a niche for itself by focusing research on select cancers, as well as offering patients of advanced cancer the possibility of targeted therapies

Singapore (PRWEB) April 10, 2010 -- Nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC) is the sixth most common cancer worldwide and cancer researchers here are just one step away from giving advanced-stage NPC patients fresh hope – in the form of a new treatment strategy.



A new clinical trial is now underway and outcomes are expected to have far-reaching implications for both doctors and their patients.

The trial is considered groundbreaking for several reasons, not least because it uses the patient's own immune system to fight the cancer. Helmed by Dr Toh Han Chong, Head of Department of Medical Oncology at the National Cancer Centre in Singapore (NCCS), the study currently involves 38 patients. The NCCS is a multi-disciplinary centre that offers one-stop cancer diagnosis and treatment, and carries out cutting-edge cancer research.

Cell Therapy

"What we're doing is to extract T-cells from the patient's own blood, then 'educate' these cells to recognize certain viral proteins that are responsible for tumour growth. These T-cells will be expanded into large numbers in the lab and returned back to the patients to fight the cancer," says Dr Toh.

T-cells belong to a group of white blood cells (WBC
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