1 in 4 Malaysians are affected by cancer — we aim to reduce that percentage.
Oral and nasopharyngeal cancer
Our researchers aim to:
Develop an AI-enabled mobile app for early detection of oral cancers
Find the Achilles heel of and develop repurposed drugs for oral and nasopharyngeal cancers
Develop immunotherapy to treat oral and nasopharyngeal cancers more effectively
Oral cancer is a visible cancer that is amenable to early detection. Unfortunately, there are more than 40 types of growths or lesions that can be found in the mouth, and it isn’t always possible to access a medical expert to tell the difference between a lesion that is a cancer and one that is non-cancerous.
We led the largest study in Southeast Asians to develop a database of images of different types of oral lesions and have used this to develop an AI-enabled mobile phone app that can accurately distinguish a lesion that is cancer from one that is non-cancerous. Together with our partners, we aim to enable individuals, particularly those in remote locations where access to doctors is more limited, to detect oral cancer at an early stage so that it can be cured.
Today, there have been major advances in cancer treatment because of our understanding on how cancers happen (and which treatments can target these genetic changes to kill cancer cells). Such an understanding of genomics has played an important part in creating more effective therapies for breast, lung and many other cancers, but unfortunately, there is little done in genomics of Asian cancers including oral and nasopharyngeal cancer.
Our study on gene and drug screening of oral cancer in Asians, one of the largest study of its kind, is being used as the basis to develop more effective treatment options for oral cancer.
How we’ve made a difference
Developed MeMoSA (Mobile Mouth Screening Anywhere), an AI-enabled Mobile App for early detection of oral cancer.
Developed oral cancer cell lines, which are now being used in 31 different groups around the world. These valuable resources help scientists understand how cancers develop, and what drugs could be potent in treating them.
Developed a cancer vaccine that is able to control tumour growth by up to 97% and licensed this to a biopharmaceutical company for human clinical trials.
What we’re doing now
Collaborating with University Malaya and Ministry of Health to determine the impact of MeMoSA on early detection of oral cancer in rural locations in Malaysia.
Collaborating with University Malaya and other hospitals in a clinical trial to determine the effectiveness of combining immunotherapy and chemotherapy in the treatment of aggressive head and neck cancers.
Collaborating with the Wellcome Sanger Institute, McGill University and others to repurpose drugs to treat oral and nasopharyngeal cancer.
Collaborating with biopharmaceutical partners to develop cancer vaccines for oral and nasopharyngeal cancers.
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