Monday September 3, 2012
Carif leads the way
BREAST cancer is the most common cancer in Malaysia. Sadly, researchers still have an incomplete understanding of how the disease develops. So far, only 10% of breast cancer is preventable.
The Cancer Research Initiatives Foundation (CARIF) plays a key role in identifying genes which cause breast cancer and studying how these genes, together with our lifestyle, cause the disease.
By targeting these genes, doctors and researchers can better identify the risk factors and recommend screening and prevention for women in the high-risk category. In turn, this will enable them to develop more effective treatments for breast cancer.
Nasopharyngeal and oral cancer
Carif has registered three patents on new treatments for oral and nasopharyngeal cancer. The foundation hopes to conduct clinical trials within the next few years. The research will be targeted exclusively at the Asian population.
Asians make up about 60% of the world’s population, but less than 5% of Asians take part in genetic studies worldwide.
The foundation is studying how our Asian genes can increase our risks of having cancer and our response towards treatment.
Forefront of reseach
Carif is currently researching over 5,000 species of local plants for anti-cancer properties. They are looking for natural compounds that kill cancer cells but are not toxic to normal cells to avoid the side effects of chemotherapy.
To date, they have identified several promising candidates with anti-cancer properties and have filed a patent for one of these.