Soo Chin LEE

Professor and Senior Principal Investigator, Cancer Science Institute of Singapore, NUS
Head and Senior Consultant, Department of Hematology/Oncology, NUHS


Professor Lee Soo Chin’s laboratory focuses on novel therapeutics and predictive biomarkers in breast cancer. She has studied different novel treatment strategies, including using low-dose anti-angiogenic agent to improve chemotherapy delivery. Her team has identified a biomarker detectable in blood that predicts breast cancer recurrence, and that can be used to select patients for a novel targeted therapy. Her team has found a genetic variant common in Asians but rare in Caucasians to influence metabolism of a commonly used breast cancer drug, highlighting that inter-ethnic differences in genetic make-up could account for geographic differences in outcomes to anti-cancer treatment.


Professor Lee Soo Chin’s laboratory is focused on developing novel therapeutics and predictive biomarkers in breast cancer, with additional interest in pharmacogenetics and inter-ethnic differences. She and her team have studied several novel therapeutic strategies in breast cancer, including using low dose, short-course sunitinib to normalize tumor vasculature to improve chemotherapy delivery into tumor, combining lenvatinib, a RET inhibitor, with letrozole, to overcome endocrine resistance in hormone receptor positive breast cancer, and using expanded activated natural killer cells to augment antibody-directed cell cytotoxicity induced by trastuzumab in HER2+ breast cancer. She and her collaborators found chromosome 1q21.3 amplification to be a trackable biomarker that can be detected on liquid biopsy for breast cancer recurrence. An actionable target, IRAK1, was identified in the amplification region, and her team is currently conducting a clinical trial of pacritinib, an IRAK1 inhibitor, using cell-free DNA detection of 1q21.3 amplification as a biomarker to select cancer patients for treatment. In the field of pharmacogenetics, Professor Lee’s team is studying the UGT2B17 null variant, which is common in Asians but rare in Caucasians, in relation to the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of exemestane, a commonly used endocrine therapy in hormone receptor positive breast cancer patients. Strong correlation was observed between UGT2B17 genotype and exemestane pharmacokinetics, highlighting that inter-ethnic differences in genetic make-up could account for geographic differences in outcomes to anti-cancer treatment.

Lab Members

Selected Publications

1. Impact of UDP-gluconoryltransferase 2B17 genotype on vorinsotat metabolism and clinical outcomes in Asian breast cancer women. NS Wong, EZH Seah, LZ Wang, WL Yeo, HL Yap, B Chuah, YW Lim, PCS Ang, BC Tai, R Lim, BC Goh, SC Lee. Pharmacogenetics and Genomics 2011, Aug 17 (epub ahead of print)

2. Serial changes in the expression of breast cancer-related proteins in response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy. BYS Chuah, T Putti, M Salto-Tellez, A Charlton, P Iau, SA Buhari, CI Wong, SH Tan, ALA Wong, CW Chan, BC Goh, SC Lee. Annals of Oncology 2011, 22(8); 1748-54

3. Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamis of docetaxel with or without ketoconazole modulation in chemonaive breast cancer patients. YW Lim, BC Goh, LZ Wang, SH Tan, B Chuah, SE Lim, P Iau, SA Buhari, CW Chan, N Sukri, MT Cordero, R Soo, SC Lee. Annals of Oncol 2010, 21(11); 2175-82

4. Phase III randomized trial of sunitnib versus capecitabine in patients with previously treated HER2-negative advanced breast cancer. CH Barrios, MC Liu, SC Lee, L Vanlemmens, J-M Ferrero, T Tabei, X Pivot H Iwata, K Aogi, R Lugo-Quintana, Na Harbeck, MJ Brickman, K Zhang, KA Kern, M Martin. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 2010; 121(1): 121-31.

5. Phase I and biomarker study of ABT-869, a multiple receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor, in patients with refractory solid malignancies. CI wong, TS Koh, R Soo, S Hartono, CH Thng, E McKeegan, WP Yong, CS Chen, SC Lee, J Wong, R Lim, N Sukri, SE Lim, AB Ong, J Steinberg, N Gupta, R Pradhan, R Humerickhouse, BC Goh. J Clin Oncol 2009, 27(28); 4718-26

6. Chemotherapy-induced tumor gene expression changes in human breast cancers. SC Lee, X Xu, YW Lim, P Iau, N Sukri, SE Lim, HL Yap, WL Yeo, P Tan, SH Tan, H McLeod, BC Goh. Pharmacogenetics and Genomics, 2009, 19: 181-92

7. Pharmacogenetics in Breast Cancer Therapy. SH Tan, SC Lee, BC Goh, J Wong. Clin Cancer Research 2008, 14(24): 8027-41

8. Genotype of human carbonyl reductase CBR3 correlates with doxorubicin disposition and toxicity. L Fan, BC Goh, CI Wong, N Sukri, SE Lim, SH Tan, JY Guo, R Lim, HL Yap, YM Khoo, P Iau, HS Lee, SC Lee. Pharmacogenetics and genomics 2008, 18(7): 623-31

9. Inter-ethnic variability in warfarin requirement is explained by VKORC1 genotype in an Asian population. SC Lee, SS Ng, J Oldenburg, PY Chong, S Rost, JY Guo, HL Yap, SC Rankin, HB Khor, TC Yeo, KS Ng, R Soong, BC Goh. Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics 2006, 79(3): 197-205

10. Explaining inter-individual variability of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynacmis in Asians through genotyping and phenotyping strategies. BC Goh, SC Lee, LZ Wang, L Fan, JY Guo, E Schuetz, R Lim, HL Lim, AB Ong, HS Lee. J Clin Oncol, 20(17): 3683-90, 2002