Nasopharyngeal Cancer
Nasopharyngeal cancer is among the five most common cancers in Malaysia, and is 40 times more likely to affect Asians than Caucasians.
Our Nasopharyngeal Cancer Research team here at CRM aims to:
  • Identify the genetic drivers behind the development and progression of cancer
  • Find more accurate ways of diagnosing and providing more effective and personalised treatment
  • Develop immunotherapy to treat nasopharyngeal cancer
  • Find the Achilles’ heel of nasopharyngeal cancer

How we’ve made a difference

  1. Developed nasopharyngeal cancer cell lines.
  2. Identified unique cancer proteins that are found in tumour cells, which can be used to stimulate the patient’s immune system to fight cancer.
  3. Developed a cancer vaccine that is currently in preclinical testing, with plans to take this to human clinical trials soon.

What we’re doing now

  1. Professor Cheong Sok Ching and her team are collaborating with Dr. Ultan McDermott at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (United Kingdom) to systematically identify the genes that cause oral cancers to flourish and grow. Using CRISPR / Cas9 technology, the team is systematically removing one gene at a time in cancer cells to identify the Achilles heel of cancer. Our aim is to be able to find these genes, and begin developing novel drugs that could treat oral cancers more effectively.
  2. Dr. Lim Kue Peng and her team are collaborating with Professor Gareth Thomas and Dr. Christian Ottensmeier at the University of Southampton (United Kingdom) to develop a vaccine for the prevention and treatment of oral cancer. These vaccines are developed with our knowledge of cancer proteins that are unique to oral cancer, and serves as a beacon for the immune cells in our body to recognise and destroy cancer cells.
  3. Ms Gan Chai Phei and her team are finding ways to repurpose approved drugs or those that are currently in clinical testing for the treatment of oral cancer. We leverage on the cancer models that are developed in our laboratory to move scientific discoveries into the clinic.
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