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15 Dec 2015
More donating cord blood but more needed

More mothers are donating their newborns' cord blood, going by the rising numbers registered by the public cord blood bank. Last year, the Singapore Cord Blood Bank (SCBB) received 3,927 cord blood donations - a 67 per cent jump from the 2,356 in 2010. This year, more than 3,000 donations were received as of Nov 30.

The Straits Times Mind & Body, pgB12 (part 1)

The Straits Times Mind & Body, pgB12 (part 2)

06 Nov 2015
NCCS’ immunotherapy trial to fight nose cancer

Advanced nose-cancer patient Mr Wong has been cancer-free for the past five years after undergoing a treatment that uses his body’s blood cells to fight the disease. He was among 35 people who took part in a National Cancer Centre Singapore clinical trial that uses immunotherapy to fight advanced nasopharyngeal or nose cancer. The trial’s results were highlighted at last month’s inaugural International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference held in New York, as an example of how immunotherapy can be used to successfully treat some cancers. The team is now conducting a phase-three trial for advanced nose cancer – the first to be undertaken in the world.

The Straits Times, pg B18

06 Nov 2015
NHCS and US’ American College of Cardiology create first global diabetes registry

Singapore and the US will be collaborating to create the world’s first global diabetes registry, with special emphasis on heart problems that affect this group. National Heart Centre Singapore will lead 10 Asian countries, as well as Taiwan and Hong Kong, in this partnership with the American College of Cardiology to share the data. This collaboration allows for longitudinal study of diabetes across all stages of the disease, and it is hoped that it will generate data-driven, evidence-based insights and solutions for better patient outcomes.

The Straits Times, pg B6

06 Nov 2015
SGH research: Two-drug treatment for lymphoma prolongs man’s life

An SGH-led team, comprising haematologists from five tertiary hospitals across Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea, recruited 25 patients to study the effect of combining panobinostat and bortezomib in patients who do not have alternative treatment options. Results from the study showed that 10 patients responded to the novel treatment regimen, half of whom went on to receive stem-cell transplant where disease control is a pre-requisite.

The Straits Times, pg B19

06 Nov 2015
SingHealth Duke-NUS researchers uncover genetic landscape of breast tumours

A team of researchers from the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre has uncovered the culprit genes behind fibroepithelial tumours, a distinct breast tumour group. Their discovery potentially improves the diagnostic accuracy of breast cancer and enhances clinical intervention for patients with such tumours. Fibroepithelial breast tumours include fibroadenomas, a very common benign breast tumour, and phyllodes tumours, a rare condition making up two per cent of all breast cancers.

The Straits Times, pg B15

04 Nov 2015
SGH doctors develop scoring model to predict outcomes in patients with incurable colorectal cancer

A team of doctors from Singapore General Hospital has developed a scoring model to predict if patients with incurable colorectal cancer will benefit from palliative surgery. The scoring model is found to be a reliable and useful guide for surgeons during discussions on the care plans with their patients. In another related SGH-led study, researchers looked at the impact of palliative surgery on quality of life in 24 newly diagnosed patients with incurable colorectal cancer. Patients reported feeling better physically, mentally and emotionally post-surgery. These studies were presented at the 10th International Society of Laparoscopic Colorectal Surgery (ISLCRS) Congress 2015 organised by SGH.

Lianhe Zaobao, pg 5

25 Oct 2015
SingHealth Duke-NUS Surgical Skills and Simulation Centre launched at 2nd SingHealth Surgical Congress

The SingHealth Duke-NUS Surgical Skills and Simulation Centre (SSSC), which offers surgical and procedural skills training across 20 specialties and subspecialties under one roof, was officially opened by Health Minister Gan Kim Yong. The Centre’s opening was held in conjunction with the 2nd SingHealth Surgical Congress - a biennial event that attracted more than 600 local and overseas participants. Minister Gan also announced that the inaugural Lee Seng Teik and Lee Hoo Leng Professorship in Plastic Surgery and Regenerative Medicine was conferred on Professor Yann Barrandon, a world-renowned expert in epithelial stem cell biology.

The Sunday Times - pg A13
Lianhe Zaobao - pg 6

04 Oct 2015
Five nurses conferred the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree

Five Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs) from Singapore General Hospital and KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital graduated from the Doctor of Nursing Practice programme on Friday. Awarded by Duke University, the 20-month programme equips the APNs with the skills and knowledge to deliver evidence-based advanced nursing practice, hone their leadership skills, and also empower them to mentor the next cadre of APNs. They received their diplomas at the SingHealth Nursing Conference, which was attended by more than 450 individuals from Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia. The conference is a platform for healthcare providers to interact, collaborate, and share successful chronic disease management initiatives.

Lianhe Zaobao – pg 6

26 Sep 2015
17 healthcare professionals commended for contributions to education at the SingHealth Duke-NUS Education Conference

Themed "Education across the Continuum for Improved Healthcare", the 2nd SingHealth Duke-NUS Education Conference was held from 25-26 September. More than 1,000 healthcare professionals attended the conference which serves as an important platform for healthcare educators to learn and share best practices. In conjunction with the conference, guest-of-honour Dr Lam Pin Min, MOS, MOH, gave out the annual AM•EI Golden Apple Awards to 17 educators to recognise their outstanding contributions.

Lianhe Zaobao - pg 8
ChannelnewsAsia Online

25 Sep 2015
SHP study: Potential risk of errors caused by interruptions during consultations

Researchers behind a SingHealth Polyclinics (SHP) study have found that interruptions during consultations could potentially cause stress in healthcare workers and increase the risk of medical errors. Dr Agnes Koong, Clinic Director, SHP-Marine Parade, had decided to conduct the study three years ago following feedback that some doctors found it challenging to juggle interruptions that happen often in practice. Since last year, Dr Koong and her team have put up posters reminding patients in line to enter only after another patient has left the room, and educated staff to minimise interruptions. They also suggest finding alternative modes of communication like text messaging to alert healthcare workers on less urgent matters. The study was presented at the Asia Pacific Regional Conference of the World Organization of Family Doctors in May last year.

TODAY Online

19 Sep 2015
New National Cancer Centre by 2020

The next piece in the multibillion-dollar redevelopment plan for the Outram Campus is a new National Cancer Centre by 2020. The new facility will be able to accommodate a Proton machine weighing around 200 tonnes. The new centre will also set aside more space for cancer research, training and education. It will occupy the space vacated by the Singapore General Hospital's pathology department, which has moved into new and bigger premises at the Academia in Outram. Work on it will begin next year. Health Minister Gan Kim Yong shared that the Outram Campus redevelopment plan is a long-term plan to systematically refresh the healthcare facilities on the campus to meet the needs of the population for the future. However, major redevelopment of SGH will take place only from 2025 to 2035.

The Straits Times, pg B10

17 Sep 2015
NCCS and Duke-NUS researchers win President’s Science Award

Prof Teh Bin Tean, Director, Laboratory of Cancer Epigenome, NCCS and Professor, Duke-NUS; Prof Patrick Tan and Prof Steve Rozen, Professors at the Cancer & Stem Cell Biology Programme, Duke-NUS, won the President’s Science Award yesterday for their research into Asian cancers. The award is part of the President’s Science and Technology Awards 2015, given out to recognise achievements in science and technology in Singapore. The trio has collaborated over the past eight years to research on the diagnosis, treatment and possibly prevention of Asian cancers in the future. One of their key discoveries is the identification of a genetic mutation of common benign breast tumours, and they are working with Prof Tan Puay Hoon, Head & Senior Consultant, Department of Pathology, SGH to extend their discovery to cover other breast fibroepithelial tumours.

TODAY Online

22 Aug 2015
SingHealth doctors and hospital team lauded for medical excellence

Seven doctors and a hospital team were honoured for their outstanding contributions to medicine at the National Medical Excellence Awards 2015. A team from KKH’s Department of Child Development won the National Clinical Excellence Team award. Led by Assoc Prof Lim Sok Bee, Head and Senior Consultant, the team comprising Dr Sylvia Choo, Senior Consultant, Mr Tang Hui Nee, AD and Head, Community Services, and Ms Oh Shujun, Psychologist, worked on the Developmental Support Programme (DSP) to provide learning support to pre-schoolers with mild developmental delays.

Prof Tan Puay Hoon, Head and Senior Consultant, SGH received the National Outstanding Clinician award. Adj Prof Koh Tian Hai, Senior Advisor, NHCS received the National Outstanding Clinician Mentor award and Prof Lim Shih Hui, Group Director, Education, SingHealth, received the National Outstanding Clinician Educator award.

The Straits Times, pg B7
Lianhe Zaobao, 31 Aug - pg 6
TODAY Online, 22 Aug

01 Aug 2015
SGH, NHCS and SHP nurses win President’s Award for Nurses

Dr Lim Su-Fee, Senior Nurse Clinician, Advanced Practice Nurse, SGH, Teo Lee Wah, Senior Nurse Clinician, Advanced Practice Nurse, NHCS, and Stephanie Teo, Deputy Director Nursing, SHP, received the President’s Award for Nurses from President Tony Tan, alongside Mdm Velusamy Poomkothammal (KTPH), Mdm Zeenat Binte Mohd Salim (HPB), Ms Jocelyn Ng (Ang Mo Kio – Thye Hua Kwan Hospital) and Ms Pua Lay Hoon (TTSH). This is the first year that 7 nurses are conferred the award since it started in 2000. The award recognises contributions to patient care, education, leadership, research and administration and is the highest accolade for the nursing profession in Singapore.

The Straits Times, pg B5
Lianhe Zaobao, pg 10

29 Jul 2015
Health nut grateful for 2nd chance

He was born with a hole in the heart and a missing heart valve. At age five, doctors inserted a shunt into his body to aid blood flow. Quek Siow Kiak went through another operation at 13 to insert a mechanical heart valve. And after a biological valve from a human donor was implanted to replace his mechanical heart valve in 2012, the 48-year-old driver will be fit enough to take part in Aug 29-30's OCBC Cycle, in the 42km event called The Sportive Ride.

The Straits Times pC14

28 Jul 2015
New drug gives hope to lung cancer patients

A new cancer drug has been approved for use, offering hope to some 120 lung cancer patients diagnosed here every year who do not respond to current treatments. Ceritinib, which comes in the form of a pill, targets a particular gene mutation responsible for the disease in around 8 per cent of lung cancer patients in Singapore.  Clinical trials have been conducted at 20 centres across nine countries including NCCS, and the Health Sciences Authority has approved it for treatment here.

The Straits Times, pg B7

08 Jun 2015
Hospitals adopt age-friendly design

Healthcare institutions are making themselves more elderly-friendly as the population ages. SingHealth, the largest public healthcare provider in Singapore, saw more than a million elderly patient visits last year, accounting for over one in four of all visits. To help patients find their way around more easily, colour coding at SingHealth Polyclinics - such as blue for registration and orange for consultation – has been implemented at seven SingHealth Polyclinics. Three others will do so by 2017.  Last year, SGH merged three clinics into one integrated Centre for Digestive and Liver Diseases, where registration counters and waiting areas are shared, in a move to cluster the services a patient needs close together.

The Straits Times - pg B5

13 May 2015
New SingHealth initiatives make it easier for patients to collect medication

Two new SingHealth initiatives have given patients greater convenience and access to medication. Firstly, non-standard but commonly requested drugs that are regularly prescribed at SGH and NHCS have been made available at the nine SingHealth polyclinics. This means that discharged patients need only visit their local polyclinic to pick up medication, rather than return to the hospital for it. Next, SGH’s Inpatient Pharmacy stocked up on frequently requested medication that are unique to the SGH Campus specialist centres. Such medication can then be dispensed to hospitalised patients, without having staff separately collect them from the various centres.

The Straits Times, pg B4
Lianhe Zaobao, pg 10

08 May 2015
First Singapore representative invited to American Society of Clinical Oncology's class

Dr Rebecca Alexandra Dent, Senior Consultant, Division of Medical Oncology, NCCS, and Associate Professor, Clinical Sciences, Duke-NUS, is the first Singapore representative to be invited for a one-year leadership training programme at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Dr Dent also heads SingHealth Duke-NUS Breast Cancer Research. ASCO launched the programme in 2009 to provide training in leadership skills and networking opportunities. It accepts 12 students each year, with only one vacancy for a doctor outside of the US.

The Business Times

22 Apr 2015
Improvement project by SGH nurses successfully reduces time taken to perform extensive burns dressing by 30%

In a bid to improve work processes and increase efficiency, a team of nurses from the SGH Burns Centre came up with an innovative solution to help reduce the time taken to dress wounds of extensive burns patients by a significant 30%, from 70 minutes to 45 minutes. This would mean that patients will have less pain, and exposure of wound is minimised which reduces wound infection risk. The team spent $500 and took six months to modify a wound dressing trolley which helps the nurses work together more efficiently, saving them time and allowing them to do dressings simultaneously with less movement.

Lianhe Zaobao, pg 3

19 Apr 2015
New procedure at KKH helped cervical cancer patient fulfill wish of having a child

32-year-old Ms Zhao Shuang is the first woman in Singapore to recover from cervical cancer and successfully give birth to a son even after most of her cervix was removed. The usual treatment of cervical cancer is the removal of the cervix and the patient will not be able to conceive as a result. Ms Zhao underwent a Radical Abdominal Trachelectomy (RAT) at KK Women's and Children's Hospital in 2012 – it is a procedure that treats the cervical cancer, and also enables the patient to be able to bear a child after. Dr Timothy Lim, Head and Senior Consultant, Department of Gynaecological Oncology, KKH, who performed the RAT and eventual C-section to deliver Ms Zhao’s firstborn, said there are about 200 to 250 cases of cervical cancer each year, and about five to 10 per cent of these patients can choose to undergo RAT. There have been eight patients who successfully underwent the procedure.

Lianhe Zaobao - pg 6

01 Apr 2015
23 patients and 9 caregivers honoured for resilience in the face of healthcare challenges

23 patients and 9 caregivers are honoured for displaying great courage and resilience in the face of healthcare challenges. They were nominated by healthcare professionals from Home Nursing Foundation, Ren Ci Hospital and Singapore Eye Research Institute. The Award, organised by the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre, introduced two new categories this year – the Inspirational Patient Volunteer Award, which acknowledges patients who have improved the lives of other patients through volunteering; and the Inspirational Clinical Trial Patient Award, which acknowledges patients who have volunteered for clinical trials and studies to help bring about better treatment options for others.

The Straits Times, pg B4
The New Paper, pg 1-2
Lianhe Zaobao, 6 April, pg 6

25 Mar 2015
Duke-NUS study sheds light on treating cancer

A Singapore research team led by Duke-NUS researcher Dr Cheong Jit Kong and Prof David Virshup, Programme Director of Duke-NUS’ Cancer & Stem Cell Biology Programme, has found a new drug combination therapy which may help to treat common cancers. The team discovered that the use of an anti-malaria drug together with the blocking of an enzyme called Casein Kinase 1 alpha was able to effectively treat human colon and bladder tumours that were grown in laboratory mice. The study, supported by the Singapore National Research Foundation, was published online in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.

The Straits Times, pg B3

21 Mar 2015
Study on colorectal cancer identifies genetic link

Scientists here have identified key genetic features associated with the spread of cancer in the colon or rectum to the liver, which could aid early detection and improve chances of a cure. Dr Iain Tan, co-lead author of the study and Consultant, Division of Medical Oncology, National Cancer Centre Singapore, said the finding offers the chance of a cure to patients with liver metastasis - cancerous tumours that have spread to the liver from somewhere else in the body - through early detection. The 18-month study which concluded last year, was a collaboration between NCCS, GIS, SGH, Duke-NUS, NUS and the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore. This study has been awarded a grant from the National Medical Research Council and the team expects to conduct clinical trials by early next year.

The Straits Times, pg B12

19 Mar 2015
NCCS study: With lower medicine dosage, metastatic kidney cancer patients suffer fewer side effects

A cancer drug called Sunitinib is given to metastatic kidney cancer patients as a treatment, and many patients experience severe side effects with the conventional dosage. A team of researchers from National Cancer Centre Singapore have found that these patients suffer from less side effects and get a better quality of life when the drug dosage is decreased. With the decreased dosage, the number of patients who were affected by side effects dropped from 85% to 59%. A lower dosage also means lower costs for patients.

Lianhe Zaobao, pg 7

12 Mar 2015
SGH study: Young diabetes patients manage condition less well than older patients

A study has found that young Type 2 diabetes patients here – those below the age of 40 – manage their condition less well than older patients. Part of an ongoing regional study by the Asia Diabetes Foundation, the local study was conducted at Singapore General Hospital and involved more than 300 diabetic patients. It revealed that younger patients fared worse than older patients in two of three indicators doctors use to determine a patient’s condition – blood sugar level and cholesterol. Only one per cent of younger patients met the acceptable level for all three levels, the third being blood pressure, as compared with four per cent of older patients.

TODAY Online

07 Mar 2015
NHCS’ first charity gala raises more than S$760,000

National Heart Centre Singapore held its inaugural charity gala, Heart to Heart Gala 2015 on 6 March, which raised S$764,950 for the NHCS Heart2Heart Fund to benefit heart patients. The amount raised will go towards patient care and programmes that introduce new life-saving treatments to patients, together with cardiovascular research that drives medical excellence and innovation to provide patients with quality heart care.

Channel NewsAsia Online

26 Feb 2015
NHRIS researchers probe gene link to heart disease

About one in 250 people worldwide suffers from dilated cardiomyopathy, which can lead to abnormal heart rhythms, heart failure and even sudden death. The team from National Heart Research Institute Singapore who works with Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School has started a genetic study to find out whether the mutation of a gene called titin – linked to the disease in Caucasians – could be responsible for the illness in Asians as well. The team, which has recruited 180 patients, is recruiting volunteers. Prof Stuart Cook, the Tanoto Foundation professor in cardiovascular medicine at the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre, who is leading the study, discovered titin’s link to the disease among Caucasians.  Healthy people who want to volunteer for the local study can call the NHCS Biobank on 9159-7029, Mondays to Fridays from 8.30am to 5.30pm, except on public holidays.

The Straits Times, pg B3  

24 Feb 2015
SNEC and SERI doctors on gene mutation in East Asians

Researchers from the Singapore National Eye Centre and Singapore Eye Research Institute have found that gene mutation in some East Asians is a double-edged sword. Although the gene mutation gives them added protection against heart attacks, it will also significantly increase their risk of going blind. This particular mutation, found almost exclusively in East Asians, raises the level of HDL or good cholesterol, which protects the heart. About 2 to 3 per cent of the Chinese in Singapore have this gene mutation. However, the mutation places East Asians at 70 per cent higher risk of getting age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the top cause of irreversible blindness in Singapore, affecting one in 20 people over the age of 40. The study, which looked at over a million genetic markers in the DNA of more than 22,000 people in Singapore, China, Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong, was published last month in the prestigious research journal, Nature Communications.

The Straits Times - pg B1

11 Feb 2015
Occupational therapists in demand in greying Singapore

Healthcare professionals such as occupational therapists are much needed in the face of the ageing population in Singapore. Thanks to greater awareness, extensive recruitment efforts and competitive pay, occupational therapy in the public sector is not facing a serious manpower crunch. According to MOH, the number of full-time occupational therapists has seen a jump of two-thirds, compared with five years ago. Ms Natalie Chew, Senior Principal Occupational Therapist at Singapore General Hospital, who has been in the profession for 16 years, shared that work has become more exciting, with opportunities for specialisation and research. She added that having more occupational therapists also translates to more time and care for each patient. The best reward, however, is being able to help and see patients regain independence. 

The Straits Times - pg B1

01 Feb 2015
Interview with Nobel laureate Sir Timothy Hunt at SingHealth Research Open House

Nobel laureate Sir Timothy Hunt believes that giving scientists time to “play around” and do experiments that may not seem immediately financially profitable is essential to great science. He shared that “the really important advances always come through unexpected discoveries”, which is why Singapore should allow scientists the luxury of such “play”. The same spirit of play is also essential in sparking an interest in science in young people where the “fun” aspects such as chemicals and explosions are important, as well as the channeling of that into a more formal understanding and scientific analysis. Sir Timothy was awarded the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his team’s seminal work in discovering how cells grow, divide and multiply. Sir Timothy was speaking on “How to Win a Nobel Prize” at the SingHealth Research Open House, a partner event with the Global Young Scientists Summit.

The Sunday Times - pg 42

22 Jan 2015
NCCS conducts world’s first-in-human clinical trial of a novel cancer vaccine

Doctors at NCCS are conducting Phase 1 clinical trials on a new vaccine that helps the body fight cancer. Of the four late-stage cancer patients who have had the therapy, which involves a single injection, on developed a rash which faded after a few days. The others experienced no side effects. The therapy uses a weakened virus as a vehicle to introduce a combination of proteins into the patient’s body. This boosts the immune system’s ability to identify and attack cancer cells. The trial, led by Dr Toh Han Chong, Deputy Director and Senior Consultant, NCCS, hopes to recruit 20 more patients over this year.

The Straits Times - pg B3
Lianhe Zaobao - pg 10

20 Jan 2015
SERI and NUHS study: Retinal ganglion cells can help gauge risk for Alzheimer’s Disease

A joint study conducted by Singapore Eye Research Institute and National University Health System discovered that early detection of the risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease can be conducted through checks on the retinal ganglion cells. The study, which will be published in the March issue of Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, found out that the thickness of retinal ganglion cells in Alzheimer patients decreases with the deterioration of the patients’ conditions. This also means that patients can hope to undergo non-invasive, CT scans for the eye to check for neurological changes. The lead for this study Adj Asst Prof Carol Cheung, Research Scientist and Head of the Singapore Advanced Imaging Lab on Ocular Research, SERI, pointed out that although there is currently no effective treatment for Alzheimer’s, a better form of targeted treatment can be carried out if we harness this new technology to check for the thickness of the retinal cells. 

Lianhe Zaobao - pg 7

17 Jan 2015
More than 2,700 healthcare professionals recognised for service excellence

A record number of 2,748 healthcare professionals from 19 institutions were honoured at the annual Singapore Health Quality Service Award held yesterday. The award is Singapore’s first dedicated platform to honour healthcare professionals who have delivered quality care and excellent service to patients. Winners from public healthcare institutions, community hospitals, agencies from the Intermediate and Long-Term Care (ILTC) sector and private healthcare institutions nationwide were presented with Silver, Gold and Star awards. Superstar awards were conferred on top winners from the Clinician, Nursing, Allied Health and Ancillary categories. Efforts to improve processes to enhance patient experience and safety were also recognised with team awards for clinical practice and service initiative improvement.

The Straits Times - pg B17
Lianhe Zaobao - pg 20

01 Jan 2015
SHP doctor receives AM•EI Golden Apple Awards in recognition of his efforts in medical education
Dr Jason Chan, family physician and deputy clinic director at SHP-Geylang, received the AM•EI Outstanding Young Educator Award (Medical Category) in recognition of his dedication in educating primary healthcare professionals. Dr Chan was interviewed on his passion for family medicine and medical education, where he highlighted the importance of teaching and passing on medical knowledge to improve the standards of Family Medicine, and how by teaching others, it also helps him improve and refresh his knowledge. A role model in continuous learning, Dr Chan is currently enrolled in the Graduate Diploma in Family Practice Dermatology at NUS YLLSoM.

Lianhe Zaobao, zbNOW - pg 2
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