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Who We Are

The Experimental Cancer Therapeutics Unit (ECRU) was set up with the purpose of academically enhancing support for early phase clinical trials. Its focus is on providing a single point of engagement for the conduct of Phase 0/1/2 trials. The unit is part of the Department of Medical Oncology and was initiated in 2009.  The core team collaborates closely with other clinicians and scientists committed to preclinical and clinical development of new anticancer drugs. Our core interests cover all solid tumours and lymphomas.

At ECRU, we coordinate the aspects of modern drug development from target discovery and validation, xenograft drug screening, clinical pharmacology and biomarker correlative clinical trials. This includes the ability to do sequential tumor biopsies for biomarker development in certain trials.

Mission of ECRU:

Mission Statement: To define the future standards of personalized cancer care through innovative drug development

  • To bring new and novel agents to the patient’s bedside and develop new therapeutic options for cancer patients through scientifically driven sponsored and investigator-initiated research
  • To facilitate the efficient execution of biomarker correlative early phase clinical trials in cancer patients
  • To provide a training platform for translation research both nationally and regionally

Ongoing Phase 1 Trials

Please click here for the ongoing Phase 0/1/2 trials.


Infrastructure Support:

  • Phase 1 Clinics – These clinics are dedicated to screening potential candidates.
  • NCCS Clinical Trials and Epidemiological Sciences Unit – The unit provides support in data management, project planning, legal and biostatics.
  • Fully-equipped dedicated Inpatient Phase 1 Unit - The 32-bed SingHealth Investigational Medicine Unit (IMU) at SGH can be used for overnight stays and inpatient PK/PD sampling.

Preclinical/clinical support and capabilities on SingHealth campus:

  • ICU/ICA capabilities with 1700 general ward beds
  • Access to interventional radiologists facilitating serial biopsies (tissue collections)
  • Functional Imaging - FDG-Pet, FLT-PET, Perfusion imaging et cetera
  • Tumor Xenograft Laboratory- orthotropic and ectopic patient-derived tumor xenograft models for multi-drug testing
  • Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory - (Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics)
  • Translational Histopathology Laboratory providing local sequencing & IHC analysis

Quality Assurance and Trials Management:

  • The Clinical Trials and Epidemiological Sciences (CTE) department of NCCS handles the administrative components of all trial conducts including legal agreements ( together with SingHealth’s legal department), coordination of study feasibility, training of all clinical research coordinators, budgeting of studies, data management and data monitoring.
  • All studies conducted at NCCS, including ECRU projects, have to be approved by the SingHealth Centralised Institutional Review Board / Domain Specific Review Board and Health Sciences Authority of Singapore. The turn-around time for approval from these two entities is about 4-8 weeks.   

Our Team

As part of the Department of Medical Oncology, our core team of doctors are specialists within the department. These oncologists have tumour specific interests. They are aided by 21 Clinical Research Coordinators.

Key Staff of ECRU:

  • Director – Dr Daniel Tan
  • Doctors covering Phase 1 clinics – Dr Matthew Ng, Dr David Tai, Dr Tira Tan, Dr Justina Lam, Dr Aaron Tan, Dr Stephanie Saw, Dr Johan Chan, Dr Tan Wei Chong, Dr Esther Chang
  • Team manager – Ms Low Lishan

Clinical Group

  • Lymphoma: Dr Jason Chan, Dr Valerie Yang, Dr Esther Chang
  • GI: Dr Matthew Ng, Dr David Tai , Dr Justina Lam and Dr Koo Si-Lin  
  • Breast/Gynae: Dr Yoon-Sim Yap, Dr Tira Tan and Dr Jack Chan
  • Head/Neck/Lung: Dr Darren Lim, Dr Daniel Shao-Weng Tan, Dr Gillianne Lai and Dr Stephanie Saw, Dr Aaron Tan, Dr Tan Wei Chong
  • Urology: Dr Ravindran Kanesvaran, Dr Johan Chan

Correlative Studies

  • Functional Imaging: Dr Quan Sing Ng
  • Clinical Pharmacology: Prof Balram Chowbay

Contact Us

We have a variety of trials ongoing. For more information and to enquire about the availability of the trials, please email: