The two institutions are among a group hoping to better understand treatment for the second most common type of cancer in women worldwide.

Cervical cancer is the second most common type of cancer in women worldwide. Between 2010 and 2014, there were 1,005 new cases of cervical cancer and 357 deaths due to cervical cancer in Singapore.

Two studies being conducted by the Gynaeoncology Group Singapore (GOGS) at the National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS), KK Women's and Children Hospital (KKH), and the National University Cancer Institute, Singapore (NCIS) hope to better understand the treatment of newly diagnosed cervical cancer.

In the first study, the GOGS investigators at NCCS, KKH and NCIS are looking at the role of Z-100 – a compound that activates the immune system to target cancer in combination with conventional chemotherapy and radiotherapy (chemoradiotherapy). The study is part of a global multicentre clinical trial on stage IIIB cervical cancer patients.

Assistant Professor Lim Sheow Lei, Co-Principal Investigator of this study and Senior Consultant, Department of Gynaecological Oncology, KKH, said, "Z-100 belongs to a new and exciting class of anti-cancer treatment called immunotherapy, which harnesses patients' own immune system to fight cancer.

As KKH is a tertiary referral centre for complex and high-risk gynaecological conditions in Singapore, we will continue to evaluate the role of Z-100 in improving the outcomes for our patients with locally advanced cervical cancer."

Adj Assoc Prof John Chia, Co-Principal Investigator of this study and Senior Consultant Medical Oncologist, NCCS, shared a similar interest in the Z100 compound, "A large body of preliminary data indicates that it is safe, and may have a strong role to play in established cancer of the cervix. Standard treatment paradigms for the disease have not changed for 20 years; we need to do much better."

In the second study, GOGS investigators at NCIS are looking at whether additional treatment with carboplatin and paclitaxel, a chemotherapy drug combination, after completion of the standard treatment with chemoradiotherapy, can improve survival outcomes for newly diagnosed cervical cancer patients.

Asst Prof David Tan, Consultant, Department of Haematology-Oncology, at NCIS explained, "When cervical cancer relapses in 25-50% of patients following standard chemoradiotherapy, this is unfortunately usually an incurable condition, and hence this trial is asking the question of whether we can reduce the relapse rate by giving additional chemotherapy after completion of standard chemoradiotherapy."

"Both these studies are important trials with the potential to improve outcomes for patients with cervical cancer in the future. We would therefore urge patients with newly diagnosed cervical cancer to consider enrolling into either of these studies," added Asst Prof Tan.

For interest to participate in the trial, please contact:

National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS)
Tel: 6436 8000 (Request for Sandra Yeo or Dr John Chia)

KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH)
Tel: 6294 4050 (Request for Assistant Professor Lim Sheow Lei)

National University Cancer Institute, Singapore (NCIS)
Tel: 6773 7888