We thank Ms Quek Soh Mui for her feedback on breast cancer research (Ensure appropriate funding for breast cancer research, June 27).
We agree that research can enable clinicians to better understand and treat diseases that affect Singaporeans.
Over the past decade, the National Medical Research Council (NMRC) under the Ministry of Health has supported about 40 breast cancer research-related proposals through its funding schemes.
In addition, NMRC has provided funding to our national cancer institutions, namely National Cancer Centre Singapore and the National University Cancer Institute Singapore, to build up core research capabilities, common research platforms and manpower, all of which benefit research on different cancers.
Our national cancer institutions are also involved in international cancer clinical trials, where local patients, including those with breast cancer, can stand to benefit.
Clinicians are given support to keep up with the latest research done overseas so that they can learn and apply relevant knowledge in treating their patients.
We will continue to periodically review our funding for different research areas, taking into account factors including local disease prevalence and burden, quality and uniqueness of research proposals and potential translation to practice.
Tan Say Beng (Associate Professor)
Covering Executive Director
National Medical Research Council