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New NCCS Building & Proton Therapy Centre

New NCCS building - artist impression.jpg

With rising cancer incidence in Singapore, the new NCCS building will be four times larger than the current centre to meet future needs. Located on SGH Campus, the new one-stop 24-storey NCCS will house facilities dedicated to cancer care and rehabilitation, research and education. The building is targeted to be ready by 2022.

Patient Centric Design

One major consideration in the planning and design of the new NCCS building is how to make it patient-centric, focused on the comfort, convenience and needs of the patients to serve them better.

Each cancer type, for example breast cancer or colorectal cancer, will have its own dedicated space to house clinical, research and education facilities in close proximity. The design approach will facilitate the flow of patients and ensure services are within easy reach to provide patients and caregivers convenience. For example, the Breast Imaging Room will be located in close proximity to the Breast Clinic. Organising multiple services under one convenient location will have the added benefit of creating operational efficiencies for staff. It will serve to foster collaboration, knowledge sharing and access to medical and scientific experts to improve patient outcomes.

In addition, all vertical lift cores will be easily seen and accessed from the reception areas on each floor, minimising patient footsteps.

Another patient-centric feature is the Patients’ Resource Centre which aims to help patients and their caregivers make informed decisions on cancer care and treatment. Equipped with computers and useful resources on cancer, it will be a space where patients and their caregivers can browse through materials relating to cancer care and treatment.

Apart from the Patients’ Resource Centre, the Mental and Physical Wellness Clinic will provide various services and programmes to enhance the quality of life for patients. Some of these services include physiotherapy, counselling and patient support groups.

Connectivity and Access

To provide greater convenience to patients and their families, the new NCCS building will be located at Outram Road, closer to the main public transport nodes such as the Outram MRT station which is connected to three MRT lines - East West Line, North East Line and the New Thomson-East Coast Line.

Research and Innovation

NCCS has embarked on Immunotherapy Research for over ten years and sees immunotherapy as one of the key treatments to fight cancer. There are plans to develop a clinical GMP facility in the new NCCS building to support clinical trials in immunotherapy.

The new research facilities will provide expanded capacity for NCCS to work with oncology researchers within SingHealth and team up with researchers from the Duke-NUS Cancer and Stem Cell Biology (CSCB) Programme to conduct research on cancer that affects the Asian community to deliver impactful and patient-oriented outcomes through research.

The Goh Cheng Liang Proton Therapy Centre

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The new National Cancer Centre Singapore Building will be home to a new comprehensive Therapy Centre named the Goh Cheng Liang Proton Therapy Centre. Mr Goh Cheng Liang and the Goh Foundation had donated $50 million to the centre and its research programme.

The centre will be fully integrated with photon therapy within the Division of Radiation Oncology.

 Infrastructure highlights:

  • 4 full rotating treatment gantries
  • 1 fixed beam room
  • Gantries can rotate 360 degrees to accurately deliver protons to the site of the tumour

What is Proton Therapy?

Proton therapy is a relatively newer mode of radiation therapy that destroys cancer cells using positively charged subatomic particles. This allows for more precise targeting of a tumour compared to the x-rays used in standard radiotherapy. This may cause less damage to nearby healthy tissues and organs, and hence, potentially, less treatment-related side effects.

Also, with proton, it allows a higher dose to be delivered to the targeted tumour to bring about better control or cure. In some cases it may be suitable even for children with brain cancer.

Benefits of Proton Therapy:

  • Patients can benefit from minimal radiation exposure and damage to nearby healthy tissues and organs, and hence reduced treatment-related side effects
  • It allows where appropriate, a higher dose to be delivered to the tumour with the potential for better control or cure

The 4 treatment rooms at the proton therapy centre are equipped with a gantry system to deliver the irradiation of tumours. This treatment gantry has an internal diameter of 5-metre and weighs about 200 tons.

By rotating the nozzle around the patient, along with a high precision robotic couch, the beam can be delivered from any angle to target tumours with pin-point accuracy. A high degree of accuracy can be achieved as the beam can deliver a spot size as small as 2 mm across.

The treatment rooms are also equipped with imaging systems to precisely position the patient for accurate beam delivery.