The month of May is designated as Cancer Research Month, in recognition of high-quality, innovative cancer research. With global institutes taking more active and effective steps for the advancement of cancer research, we find out more about the work being done at CSI, and why it is important to know more about cancer research.
What kinds of research are there?
- Basic research – Involves studies in the laboratory, and seeks to find out how cancer cells differ from normal cells in the body.
- Translational research – Uses consented patient samples and connects basic research findings to clinics, and also translates results from the clinic back in the laboratory, helping to offer patients more precise treatment options.
- Clinical research – Involves patients directly and connects the laboratory bench to the bedside, finding out how new materials or treatment options may be more effective for patients.
What do we do at CSI Singapore?
- Our researchers and clinician-scientists carry out different kinds of cancer research focusing on five disease groups – Lung Cancer, Breast Cancer, Liver Cancer, Gastric Cancer and Leukemia, which are all high-incidence cancers in Singapore.
- Research groups are categorized into two main research programs:
- Cancer Stem Cells and Biology Program – Focuses on the development of treatment options against cancer stem cells, which are a minority of cells which can self-renew and regenerate the tumour, thus contributing to more specific and less toxic treatment of cancer. Our investigators also work on the molecular mechanisms behind tumour initiation and progression, as well as RNA biology and transcriptional regulation of cancer.
- Experimental Therapeutics Program – Focuses on developing novel therapeutics and uncovering optimal combinations of drugs for cancer treatment, through better understanding of mechanisms of action and drug resistance.
Why is Cancer Research important?
- Every day, more individuals are diagnosed with cancer, or undergo chemotherapy treatment in order to fight cancer. A large part of cancer research helps to discover and develop new drugs which offer patients improved treatment outcomes, but cancer research also delves into methods to detect and diagnose cancer earlier, thereby increasing the chances of recovery, to improve the quality of life for cancer patients, and monitor the status of patient progress.
- Aside from treatment options, it is also important to know more about cancer risk and reasons, so that we can prevent it. More than ever, cancer research has found new genes, and also other environmental factors, which may be correlated to cancer risk.
- Research takes patience and perseverance. For every successful treatment option developed and used, there are also hundreds or thousands of others which did not find their way into the hospitals – some which may have been ineffective in humans, or found to be potentially more harmful than helpful in the end. Scientific research builds on previous work of other investigators. It may take years of funding and efforts by numerous groups to lead to a breakthrough or discovery, and that’s why high-quality, innovative, and accurate cancer research is important.
You can play a part to support cancer research at CSI Singapore by making a donation below. Your gift to us will accelerate our abilities to continue this vital work. Big or small, contributions will be carefully invested in important areas such as clinical trials, research technologies, and graduate program to help shape the next generation of innovative cancer research. With your funding support, CSI Singapore will serve as a conduit to bring hope to the lives of cancer patients.