Cancer centres in Singapore and India plan to expand joint research into oral and throat cancers, the city-state's leading cancer centre said Tuesday.
The cooperation between Singapore's National Cancer Centre (NCC) and the Kerala-based Regional Cancer Centre builds on a screening programme credited with cutting the death rate from mouth and tongue cancer in the Indian state by 40 percent.
The new joint effort, signed Monday, involves looking for patterns of gene mutations that can predict which patients have a more severe form of cancer, so they can receive aggressive treatment.
The results of the Kerala study were published in the British medical journal The Lancet.
The next study, elaborated on in The Straits Times, will examine why some patients aged below 40 are afflicted by oral and throat cancers even though they do not smoke.
The Kerala-based Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology will also participate.
Oral and throat cancers "are not well researched in the West as they are not so common there," NCC director Soo Khee Chee was quoted as saying. "We are looking at carving out a niche in cancer research."
The institutions plan to embark on a joint trial to test a new drug for oral cancers.