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New, gentler approach to curing leukaemia

Published on Aug 2, 2012 6:00 AM
The new regimen won over Mrs Amy Liew and husband Joshua, whose daughter was treated for leukaemia by Associate Professor Quah Thuan Chong (2nd right), head of NUH's division of paediatric haematology-oncology. Prof Allen Yeoh (right) says the procedure means patients now face less risk of complications.  -- PHOTO: ZAOBAO

A "Singapore approach" has led to a new, gentler regimen for treating the most common form of children's cancer here.

The procedure unpacked a standard treatment method used in western countries and came up with a streamlined - but just as effective - approach.

It has reduced side effects and significantly cut hospital stays and costs for children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, which affects three out of every 10 youngsters diagnosed with cancer in Singapore every year.

The regimen was developed by doctors from National University Hospital (NUH), KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH) and two centres in Malaysia, who studied 556 patients aged under 18 from the four countries from 2003 to 2009.

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