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Tapping on Technology for Cancer Treatment

Cancer is a medical condition where uncontrollable cell growth, both in terms of size and number, leads to malignant tumours. When detected early, cancer is mostly treatable. Dr Lim Hwee Yong, a senior consultant and medical oncologist at the Novena
Cancer Centre said: “Treatment options include utilising molecular, genetic and immunological cell-identifying methods.”

Accurately identifying cancer cells

These provide a deep understanding of cellular structures, functions, interactions and responses on a molecular level to facilitate effective treatment solutions. To do so, the ability to pinpoint the identity of cells is important. Dr Lim said: “Cancerous cells growing on the same organ may not all be of the same type. To offer more precise and personalised treatment, it is crucial to accurately identify the different cancerous cell types by recognising their molecular markings and characteristics.”

Turning knowledge into treatment methods

For targeted and responsive treatments, chemical agents are engineered to recognise cancerous cells.

1. In immunotherapy, drugs are developed to bind to tumour cells. The binding flags tumour cells to be recognised and eliminated by the immune cells. Alternatively, the binding develops molecules that activate the immune system to get rid of these tumour cells.

2. Localised nano-sized radioactive particles are released into the artery feeding the tumour in an effort to eliminate
it. This precise, minute and localised form of radiotherapy has lower radioactive dosages.

3. For effective cancer prevention, cancer vaccines release engineered inactive molecular factors that identify cancer or its causation factors into the body, training the immune system to recognise and destroy them. In future, should any similar cancer cells appear, the body would be more well equipped to destroy such cells.

Supportive treatment is paramount

With possible side effects linked to treatment, patients’ quality of life and immune system are often compromised. Supportive measures allow cancer treatments to be as non-disruptive as possible. Dr Lim says that supportive medications will alleviate side effects, improve tolerance and effectiveness of treatments, and allow patients to maintain active, good quality daily life.

Truth Speaks for Itself.

Cancer need not be the end. It need not even be the beginning of the end.

                                         Dr Lim Hwee Yong, Oncologist, Medical Director.

Cancer care at Novena Cancer Centre includes:

• Specialized laboratory, genetic, imaging services for oncologic patients
• Oncologic treatments – surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, interventional radiologic treatments, nuclear and radionuclide treatment for patients.
• Personalized inpatient treatment of acute medical conditions.

Common tumour types seen include:

Breast, Colon, Stomach, Bile duct, Liver, Pancreas, Lung, Kidneys, Lymphomas, Neuroendocrine and other Tumours

Cancer survivors and patients with controlled cancer can go on to live good quality and happy lives. As we gain improved molecular and genetic level understanding of cancer, newer therapeutic modalities can be devised. Advanced therapies (targeted, radioimmunotherapy, immune-oncological), treatment modalities and medication can help overcome the side-effects of treatments, more easily handle existing symptoms and gave much better therapeutic results.

The growing number of cancer survivor programmes and the higher incidence of cancer survivors who live long and happy lives after treatments have ended prove that cancer is indeed not unbeatable.

Novena Cancer Centre provides state of the art, high quality multi-disciplinary specialist care for oncologic patients. The team at Novena Cancer Centre provides multidisciplinary care with medical oncologist, surgeons, radiation oncologists, nuclear medicine physicians and well trained nurses to coordinate the best personalized cancer patient care.



Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital

38 Irrawaddy Road #09-41, Singapore 329563

Opening Hours:
Mon - Fri: 9am - 6pm
Sat: 9am - 1pm

Contact number: 6339 0233

Mount Alvernia Hospital

820 Thomson Road #07-58, Medical Centre D,
Singapore 574623

Opening Hours:
Mon - Fri: 9am - 6pm
Sat: 9am - 1pm

Contact number: 6339 0233
Fax: 6339 1338