The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission
In view of World Clinical Trials Day on 20 May, Straits Times spotlighted three different trials in Singapore and explored how the nature of clinical trials has changed over the years.
Dr Sue-Anne Toh, adjunct associate professor of medicine at NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, who is also leading some clinical trials on diabetes at National University Hospital, conducted one of the world's largest comprehensive scientific studies on the progression to diabetes in Asian populations.
Prof Goh Boon Cher, Deputy Director of Research, National University Cancer Institute Singapore, said that cancer diagnosis could be catastrophic for Asian households who were unable to afford it, and there needs to be a way to optimise costs that were borne by insurance and the government. Prof Goh added that one solution would be to review the dose of the drug given, as the drugs were sometimes given at higher doses in hopes of a better outcome. Prof Goh and his team started a trial to find out if halving the dose for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutant lung cancer would achieve the same clinical benefits. Prof Goh said that such trials were hugely beneficial to patients, but has faced the lack of funding. Prof Goh said that they have hence turned to philanthropy.
Straits Times also interviewed Ms Tang, a young healthy volunteer participant in the National University Hospital diabetes study who found out she had pre-diabetes through the study, and 83 year-old Mdm Hee Poh Lian who has nasopharyngeal cancer and had gone for two clinical trials – an immunotherapy trial and later an oral chemotherapy type. Her condition has improved after both trials.
Straits Times highlighted that an ongoing study, NURTURE (NUh Repository of TissUe and data for Research in Endocrinology), is an National University Hospital initiative to build a secure biorepository of tissue and health records data for research in National University Health System. This provided resources to National University Health System' investigators for diabetes-related studies ranging from genetics and diagnosis to diets/lifestyles and clinical care treatment.NUH in the NewsNCIS in the NewsNUHS in the News