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Medical breakthroughs give TBCC more aces

Dr Lu Shir Kiong, consultant medical oncologist at TBCC, during his presentation. – ABDUL HAKIIM YAKOF

BY Abdul Hakiim Yakof

THE Brunei Cancer Centre’s (TBCC) latest cancer molecular profiling technologies will enable experts to better understand cancer cases and offer more precise treatment options for patients, explained Dr Lu Shir Kiong, a consultant medical oncologist at TBCC, Pantai Jerudong Specialist Centre (PJSC).

Dr Lu was speaking while delivering his presentation titled ‘Molecular Profiling of Cancer: Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma’ during ‘Symposium 1 on Cancer’ of the 3rd National Scientific Symposium at the Pengiran Anak Puteri Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah (PAPRSB) Institute of Health Sciences (IHS), Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) yesterday. He said technology to determine the molecular profile of cancer has been developed, resulting in positive implications for clinical care. “Advances in sequencing technologies such as next-generation sequ-encing and array-based approaches mean that the genetic landscape and driver genes of a wide range of cancers can now be revealed,” noted Dr Lu.

“These medical breakthroughs have already translated into better understanding of the biological behaviour of several cancer types to improve diagnosis, prognosis and treatment.”

“Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare and aggressive type of cancer related to asbestos exposure. The treatment options are limited and the cancer’s response to standard chemotherapy regimes is poor. Current understanding of the genetic makeup of this deadly disease is still lacking. Thus, the aim of my research was to gain further insight into the pathogenesis of MPM by exploring the tumour mutational and transcriptional profiles,” Dr Lu added. Results from Dr Lu’s research have shown MPM to be a complex disease with heterogeneous molecular aberrations.

“By combining findings from both transcrip-tome and exome analyses, we have identified alterations in genes involved in common signalling pathways, such as the WNT and MAPK genes. These may have important roles in driving MPM carcinogenesis with therapeutic implications and require further exploration,” says Dr Lu.

Dr Lu graduated from the University of Birmingham, UK in 2000. After obtaining his MRCP (UK) certification, he began training as a medical oncologist at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London.

Dr Lu has a keen interest in research and was a sub-investigator for over 100 clinical trials ranging from phase 1 to 3 trials. He secured funding for his research study at Imperial College London and was awarded his MD (Res) in 2016.

He has had several pieces of work published in journals and book chapters, and had also delivered presentations at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), European Cancer Organisation (ECCO), as well as made an oral presentation at the World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC).

-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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