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Laboratory of Clinical Pharmacology

​Research head:​Professor Balram CHOWBAY
​Research team:

​Dr Wan Ling TAN

Dr Quan Sing NG

Dr Sylvia CHEN

Louise LEE

The Laboratory of Clinical Pharmacology, headed by Prof. Balram Chowbay, focuses
on translational research projects aimed at improving clinical outcomes through the
optimisation of drug dosages based on pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamic
(PD) principles. The laboratory also focuses on applying pharmacogenomics tools and knowledge to explain inter-patient variability in drug response and toxicity. This is particularly important in the context of the multi-ethnic Asian population in Singapore because inter-ethnic differences in the polymorphisms of genes that encode drugmetabolising enzymes and transporters may lead to marked variabilities in the PK and PD of anti-cancer drugs.

As a dynamic working unit, our laboratory has developed extensive capabilities over
the years in the development and validation of bio-analytical assays, therapeutic drug monitoring, as well as PK and PD analyses of various anti-cancer agents. We also have considerable experience in the characterisation of variants in the genes encoding drugmetabolising enzymes and transporters and their impact on drug disposition across different ethnic groups.

In addition, our laboratory provides the critical support and expertise necessary to
effectively conduct early-phase clinical trials within the Department of Medical Oncology. Our participation ranges from concept proposal, study protocol design, clinical specimen acquisition, processing, analysis and storage to data analysis and results generation.

We are hopeful that such patient-oriented research will further augment existing treatment strategies to improve survival outcomes and clinical responses for cancer patients.

Figure 1: PHARMACOKINETICS & PHARMACODYNAMICS RELATIONSHIPS

Selected publications:

  1. Sutiman N, Lim JS, Muerdter TE, et al. Pharmacogenetics of UGT1A4, UGT2B7 and UGT2B15 and their influence on tamoxifen disposition in Asian breast cancer patients. Clin Pharmacokinet. 2016;55:1239–1250.
  2. Saladores P, Mürdter T, Eccles D, et al. Tamoxifen metabolism predicts drug concentrations and outcome in premenopausal patients with early breast cancer. Pharmacogenomics J. 2015;15:84–94.
  3. Sutiman N, Tan SW, Tan EH, et al. EGFR mutation subtypes influence survival
    outcomes following first-line gefitinib therapy in advanced Asian NSCLC patients. J Thorac Oncol. 2017;12:529–538.
  4. Sutiman N, Zhang Z, Tan EH, et al. Phase I study of oral vinorelbine in combination with erlotinib in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) using two different schedules. PLoS One. 2016;11:e0154316
  5. Tan EH, Tan DS, Li WY, et al. Metronomic vinorelbine (oral) in combination with sorafenib in advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer. Lung Cancer. 2015;88:289–296.