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Philips plans oncology centre in Singapore

Steve Rogerson
July 18, 2017



Philips and the Singapore Institute of Advanced Medicine Holdings (SAM) are to open an oncology centre in Singapore that will bring together the latest imaging, treatment, machine learning and clinical informatics technologies.
 
The centre will include collaboration, research, training and treatment facilities to address diagnosis and treatment needs in cancer, as well as heart disease and neurological disorders.
 
The Dutch company and SAM are collaborating with Varian Medical Systems and IBA Worldwide to build the centre at Biopolis, the international biomedical research hub in Singapore. The centre will provide imaging, treatment delivery and clinical informatics technologies with the intent to address the region's fast-growing number of people confronted with cancer.
 
SAM is driving the collaboration by investing up to SG$100m towards the development of a centre of excellence for oncology in the south-east Asia region.
 
The research, training and treatment centre will provide oncology technology for use by healthcare professionals and researchers. Projected to open in stages from 2018 onwards, the centre will also aim to provide a platform for professional training to meet the evolving needs of the healthcare industry.
 
Through research, clinical trials and development of cancer treatment therapies, the centre will house innovations and treatment protocols developed via a multi-disciplinary approach for better and more personalised patient care, potentially improved outcomes and a better on-going quality of life for patients.
 
"The new Advanced Medicine Oncology Centre aligns with the founding goal of the Singapore Institute of Advanced Medicine Holdings to provide earlier detection and first-time-right diagnosis of cancer as well as safer, more cost effective treatment by advancing care enabled through research, technology and education," said Djeng Shih Kien, founder and chairman of SAM. "I am proud to be leading this milestone with our partners, marking a step forward in the treatment of cancer, which affects much of humanity."
 
The centre will house a range of diagnostic imaging systems and clinical informatics. In addition to Philips' Ingenia MR and IQon spectral CT systems, it will have two Philips' Vereos PET/CT scanners. Vereos uses proprietary digital photon counting technology resulting in improved detectability and characterisation of small lesions.
 
Varian's ProBeam Compact system will provide proton therapy. The single room system is capable of fully rotational intensity modulated proton therapy.
 
"This centre will be the first installation of Varian's ProBeam Compact proton therapy system, which is designed to enable space-constrained sites such as this to offer state-of-the-art technology for cancer patients," said Moataz Karmalawy, general manager of Varian's particle therapy division. "This centre will open up additional opportunities for both education and research. Singapore is joining an exclusive group of countries that have facilities like these to advance our understanding of not only proton therapy, but also immunotherapy and other cell-based treatments."
 
IBA's Cyclone Kiube technology will enable complete on-site production and use of PET radiopharmaceuticals and tracers for lesion visualisation using the Philips digital PET/CT. This will help the centre deliver treatments with a combination of speed, flexibility and cost efficiency.
 
The Philips IntelliSpace Portal 9.0 will be used for visual analysis and quantification of medical images helping clinicians assess and quickly diagnose conditions using clinical applications that are optimised for patient evaluation throughout the treatment process. It uses machine learning to help predict usage patterns to speed time to analysis. Other operational and reporting enhancements are designed to streamline the user experience with visualisation. 
 
"Cancer affects people from all walks of life and is among the leading causes of death worldwide, accounting for more than four million deaths in Asia in 2016," said Diederik Zeven, general manager of health systems for Philips in the Asean Pacific region. "Philips is enabling the advancement of medical research through our deep heritage in healthcare innovation and collaboration with medical partners. The new Advanced Medicine Oncology Centre is well-positioned to spearhead cancer research and treatment in Singapore and the region and we are very proud to be a strategic partner."
 
Besides cancer, age-related health diseases are a growing concern with Asia-Pacific projected to comprise two thirds of the world's elderly by 2050. In the longer term, the centre will also manage a number of diagnostic and therapeutic medical specialties by housing imaging technology to address cardiovascular and neurological disorders such as stroke and Alzheimer's disease.