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Clinical and Translational Research Initiatives

DSO’s Head and Neck team is involved in a number of research programs that study various clinical and translation aspects of head and cancer prognostication and therapeutics. Clinical research is achieved through the establishment and enrichment of good clinical databases to answer specific clinical questions and dilemmas in head and neck oncology. Currently, an online database has been created to track outcomes of all head and neck oncology patients capturing the various treatment modalities that they receive sub-stratified by tumour subtype, stage and grade using the capabilities afforded by the REDCAP (Research Electronic Data Capture) relational database system. This system serves as the electronic platform via which cases are presented during the head and neck multidisciplinary tumour boards. Joint decisions are entered and recorded real-time at the meetings into the database for future research projects and audit purposes.

The team is also carrying out an in-depth Quality of Life (QOL) project aims to identify patients who require more intensive rehabilitation than what is currently offered. The team of doctors, nurses and allied health professionals gather to address problems in complex cases which require multi-disciplinary care. This allows the team to have a better understanding of the possible challenges faced by patients during recovery and better tailor the pre/post treatment support.

The Cancer Therapeutics Research Laboratory’s (led by PI Dr Gopal Iyer) theme is identification of prognostic markers, novel therapeutic targets and modification of conventional therapy for head and neck cancers, through individualization of treatment modalities. The lab has established primary cell line and stem cell models for testing of targeted compounds specific to head and neck cancers. The aim is to translate this knowledge into clinical trials and patient specific outcome in the near future.

The Program in Translational and Clinical Liver Research (led by Professor Pierce Chow) comprises both wet and dry labs and coordinates the NMRC Flagship Translational and Clinical Research Program in Liver Cancer which involves all major research institutions in Singapore. It also houses the secretariat of the Asia-Pacific Hepatocellular Carcinoma Trials Group.