Thursday June 21, 2012
Foundation registers patents for cancer treatment
By CHESTER CHIN
PETALING JAYA: The Cancer Research Initiatives Foundation (CARIF) has registered three patents on new treatments for oral and nasopharyngeal cancer and hopes to conduct clinical trials within the next few years.
“We have found proteins in cancer cells that are not present in normal cells and these can be targeted to treat cancer.
“So far, we have developed new cancer cell lines from Asian patients that are being used all over the world to help us find cures for these cancers.
“As Asians, our genes alter our risk for cancer and may cause us to develop or respond differently to treatment compared to Caucasians,” chief executive officer Prof Dr Teo Soo-Hwang said.
The foundation's aim is to develop new targeted therapy with fewer side effects for cancers more common in Asians.
CARIF is also researching over 5,000 species of local plants for anti-cancer compounds.
“We are focusing on natural compounds that kill cancer cells but are not toxic to normal cells. This will help avoid the side effect of chemotherapy.
“Recently, we found a number of promising candidates with anti-cancer properties and we have filed a patent for one of these.”
The foundation has been conducting patient-oriented research and awareness campaigns for the past decade.
It celebrates its 10th anniversary with a gala dinner today.
CARIF also launched the second phase of its More Than A Mammo programme last month and hopes to recruit up to 3,000 women for a subsidised mammogram of RM50.
Targeted at educating women on the importance of early breast cancer detection, the programme drew more than 1,000 participants within six months last year.
“Last year's participants contributed to a study conducted in collaboration with the Karolinska Institute, Sweden.
“Through that research, we hope to develop better ways to detect breast cancer in Asians,” she said.