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Closing the Gap in Cancer

Editor’s Letter

According to data from 2015-2017, approximately 39.5 per cent of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives. As the world continues to age, the annual number of cancer cases is set to increase. However, this does not necessarily mean an increase in cancer mortality. In fact, cancer mortality rates have been declining over the past few decades as technology improves, allowing us to diagnose cancer earlier and receive proper treatment, and lifestyle changes, as people are more informed about lifestyle choices that could adversely increase their chances of cancer.

Developed through the years, we now have contrast agents to aid in the diagnosis of cancers and different, better therapies to identify and destroy cancer cells – technology that was not available to generations before us. However, given how adaptable and diverse cancer is, new therapies are needed to improve on current ones.

In this issue, we diver deeper into the many ways research is paving the way for improved cancer treatment outcomes. Firstly, we have Kenneth Tan, President of Asia-Pacific, Japan and India at Varian, to share with us how we can accelerate the path from cancer diagnosis to therapy, improving survivorship (p.28). Then, Lance Kawaguchi, CEO of Cure Brain Cancer Foundation, writes about the importance of cancer research, its challenges, and how the Foundation is working to support brain cancer research (p.32). Our last feature by Dr Ahmed Abdelal, Global Head Medical Affairs Interventional Imaging and North America Head of Medical & Regulatory Affairs, Guerbet and Dr Binta Patel, North America Medical Affairs Manager, Guerbet, gives us a treatment update for hepatocellular carcinoma (p.40).

In Columns, Tan Aik Jin, Asia-Pacific Vertical Solutions Lead for Zebra Technologies, highlights the importance of trust in the pharmaceutical industry and how companies can improve trust with technology-led transparency (p.14). Then, we have Benedict Cheong, Chief Executive of Temasek Foundation International, to expound on how we may learn from the pandemic and better prepare for the next unknown crisis (p.24), and Dr Galileo Violini, who presents a mathematical method to discuss the incidence of Omicron and Delta variants in two case studies (p.18).

For Spotlights this issue, we speak to Dr Prashanth Subramanian, Chief Scientific Officer for Novartis Singapore, on their newly approved cholesterol drug (p.46).

Finally, some cancer-related research highlights include understanding the role of an inner membrane protein in the spread of breast cancer (p.06), how epithelial cells can eliminate precancerous ones (p.62), and how a certain protein directly triggers cell death (p.75).

Carmen Chan