Updated on 19 July 2012
Colorectal cancer affects the colon or rectum, and is the most common cancer in men and the second most common cancer in women, after breast cancer, in Singapore. The risk of getting colorectal cancer increases with age, and is more prevalent in people aged 50 years or older. To date, a colonoscopy remains the primary test for doctors to screen patients for colorectal cancer, and patients over 50 years are advised to go for a colonoscopy once every ten years. Unfortunately, the misconceptions of pain and discomfort surrounding the procedure have made it one that many patients would rather avoid unless prescribed by their doctor.
"This research and development collaboration gives us the opportunity to explore the frontiers of science and medicine, and discover alternative ways to detect and treat colorectal cancer. I hope that the results we achieve will give new hope to future cancer patients," said Dr Koh Poh Koon.
"The Fortis-IBN TissueBank will allow us to investigate colorectal cancer in a well-integrated clinical and laboratory environment, to improve diagnostics, surgery and chemotherapy for this dreaded disease. We hope that this combination will enable us to advance diagnostics and management for Asian colorectal cancer patients," said Dr Tan Min-Han.
IBN and FCH will work on the development of non-invasive technologies to offer a viable alternative to conventional biopsy. The research areas of interest are cancer biomarkers, advanced diagnostics such as circulating tumor cells, nanoparticle and exosome-based diagnostics, as well as colorectal cancer metabolism. The research projects will impact and improve the diagnosis and treatment of colorectal cancer.
With the rapidly rising numbers of colorectal cancer in Asia, IBN and FCH will also focus on individualized therapy for Asian colorectal cancer patients. With such distinct genetic and disease profiles of patients here in Asia, this collaboration aims to deliver the best available care and research to colorectal cancer patients.