The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) hosted its 10th RCOG International Scientific Congress from June 5-8, 2012 in Kuching, Sarawak. As an invited speaker, Professor Dr Teo delivered a talk entitled “Genetical and Gynaecological Malignancies”.
The My1000Mammo Project has made a significant progress by recruiting 1000 women within 6 months of its launch in October 2011. More than half of these women have not had a mammogram screening before. To further raise awareness on mammographic screening among Malaysian women, the programme has now moved into its next 1,000 women, with the aim to recruit 2,000 Malaysian women by the end of 2012.
Asian Pacific Organization for Cancer Prevention (APOCP) held its 6th General Assembly Conference in Kuching, Sarawak from April 26-29, 2012. The highlight of the meeting was the future of cancer control in the Asian Pacific region under the theme “Clinical Epidemiology and Practical Interventions’. Members of the breast cancer research group, Miss Norhashimah Hassan and Miss Shivaani Mariapun presented an invited talk entitled “Motivators and Barriers Attending Mammographic Screening in Malaysian population". Three other team members, Miss Soo Sian Siu, Miss Maheswari Jaganathan and Miss Phuah Sze Yee presented posters on Metformin, Patient Navigation Programme and Malaysian Breast Cancer Genetic Study (MyBrCa) respectively.
The Fourth International Symposium on Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer was held from April 25-27, 2012, at the Centre Mont-Royal in Montréal, Québec. This biennial symposium which is hosted by Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Foundation and the Program in Cancer Genetics at McGill University aimed to reach out to clinicians and researches the most recent information on hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. An abstract submission by Professor Dr Teo entitled “Finding BRCA carriers in Asians: challenges and opportunities for applying what we know to diverse ethnic populations”, was selected for an oral presentation.
The breast cancer research team, together with researchers at University Malaya published a paper in Breast Cancer Research. The aim of the study was to compare the frequency of BRCA1, BRCA2 and TP53 germline mutations in a multi-ethnic Asian cohort. The researchers showed TP53 germline mutations (5%) occur at a comparable frequency with BRCA1 (11%) and BRCA2 (6%) germline mutations amongst Asian early-onset breast cancer patients, suggesting TP53 screening should be offered together with BRCA1/2 screening to all patients who develop breast cancer before the age of 35. In addition, germline mutations in TP53 are found predominantly amongst breast cancer patients with family history of Li-Fraumeni Syndrome (LFS)-linked cancers such as breast cancer, bone or soft tissue sarcomas, brain tumors and adrenocortical carcinomas.
American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) held its annual meeting in Chicago, USA from March 31- April 4, 2012. The highlight of the meeting was the best and latest findings in cancer research. Under the theme “Accelerating Science: Concept to Clinic,”this meeting brought together researches from multidiscipline to work together towards more effective cancer treatment and prevention strategies. Miss Phuah Sze Yee presented her findings via poster presentation entitled “Addition of ER and PTEN, but not cytokeratins aid identification for BRCA1 carriers in Malaysia breast cancer patients”.
Professor Dr Teo attended the Collaborative Oncological Gene-Environment Study’s (COGS) annual assembly at Institut Curie, Paris from January 16-22, 2012. This is a progress and bi-annual update meeting for three consortiums that the breast epidemiology programme are involved in; BCAC (Breast Cancer Association Consortium), CIMBA (Consortium of Investigators of Modifiers of BRCA 1/2) and ENIGMA (Evidence based Network for the Interpretations of Germline Mutant Alleles). COGS is aimed to identify increased risk individuals of breast, ovarian and prostate cancer.
Professor Dr Teo gave a talk to the public on breast cancer at the General Hospital, Penang on the 13th of December 2011.
The 21st Asia Pacific Cancer Conference (APCC) 2011 was held at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre from 10-12 November 2011. The three day conference with the theme “The Science and Strategy of Cancer Control” covered topics like cancer epidemiology and prevention, to cancer treatment and palliative care. 4 members of the breast cancer research team; Professor Dr. Teo, Miss Phuah Sze Yee, Miss Daphne Lee and Miss Kang In Nee presented their findings via poster and oral presentations. Professor Dr Teo won the Young Investigators Award for one of the five best oral papers presented at the conference entitled ''Targeted prostate cancer screening in men with mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2: Preliminary analysis from Malaysian centre for IMPACT trial'.
World Class Golfers played their part in the fight against breast cancer by participating in the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tournament which was organized by Sime Darby Berhad. The fund raising event took place at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club (KLGCC) from 13 - 16 October 2011. The highlight of the Sime-LPGA event was the Charity Gala Dinner which was held at Sime Darby Convention Centre on 14 October 2011 featured World No 1 LPGA players, Yani Tseng, Cristie Kerr and Michelle Wie.
In conjunction with the Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2011, the Estee Lauder Companies Breast Cancer Committee 2011 with utmost dedication created an impact with the Milestone Illumination Programme where major landmarks such as Bintang Walk, KL Tower and the Sultan Abdul Samad Building in Kuala Lumpur were lit up in pink lights. A breast cancer educational roadshow was also held at Pavilion Shopping Centre from 4 - 16 October 2011 to raise awareness to the public on breast cancer. For the 4th consecutive year, CARIF Breast Cancer Research was selected as one of the 6 recipients for funds raised through the Estee Lauder Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In total, RM550, 000 was raised.
In collaboration with Sime Darby Medical Centre (SDMC), CARIF undertook a Malaysian study of the causes of breast cancer, focusing on how genes, lifestyle and mammographic density affect risk to breast cancer. The Malaysian 1000 Mammogram project (My1000Mammo), also known as the ‘’More than a Mammo’’ programme was launched together with SDMC Subang Jaya’s Breast Care Centre on the 10th of October 2011 by LPGA stars Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer, Natalie Gulbis and Jennifer Song, along with Malaysian golfer Jean Chua. As part of this programme, 1000 participants are eligible for a subsidized mammogram at RM50.
The Korean Breast Cancer Society, Korean Oncology Nursing Society, Korea Breast Cancer Foundation and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health co-hosted the 3rd Global Breast Cancer Conference 2011 (GBCC) at Sheraton Grand Walkerhill Seoul, Korea from October 6 to 8, 2011. Under the theme of “The Rainbow of Hope, Personalized Breast Cancer Care”, GBCC brought together many professionals involved in breast cancer research to present their work and also attend special lectures to keep up with latest developments in this field. As an invited speaker to one of the largest breast cancer conferences in the Asian region, Professor Dr Teo presented on “Hereditary Breast Cancer Risk Assessment and Therapeutic Intervention in middle income Asian country: Early Experience from Malaysia”.
Professor Dr Teo was named as one of the authors for her contribution towards a Nature Medicine paper entitled “Tumor Suppressor BRCA1 epigenetically controls oncogenic miRNA-155” that was published online by Suhwan Chang (National Cancer Institute at Frederick, Maryland USA) et al on the 25th of September 2011. In a nutshell, tumor suppressor BRCA1 is well-recognized for its role in the DNA repair mechanism and cell cycle regulation. Mutations in BRAC1 are associated with increased risk to breast and ovarian cancer. This study characterized a potentially moderate-risk BRCA1 variant, R1699Q using a mouse embryonic stem cells (ES cell). Findings suggest this variant does not impair DNA damage repair but upregulates an oncogenic microRNA, miR-155.
At the invitation of the International Symposium on “Women in Science and Engineering” or WISE 2011 at Putra World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur (PWTC) on the 29th and 30th of September 2011, Professor Dr Teo gave a talk on “A Research-based Charity in Malaysia for Cancer”. The symposium which was jointly organized by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), Institut Kimia Malaysia (IKM) and Organisation of Women in Science in the Developing World (OWSDW) was aimed to mark the contributions and achievements of women in science and engineering and to further encourage participation from women in this field.
The 36th Annual Conference of the Malaysian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (MSBMB) was held on the 27th and 28th of July 2011 at Eastin Hotel, Petaling Jaya. The conference gave an opportunity to researchers from various disciplines to present their findings and exchange ideas in the field of biochemistry, molecular biology and bioinformatics. Miss Kang In Nee won one of the 10 best poster awards entitled “A rapid and robust classification of BRCA VUSs in a case-control series using high-throughput SEQUENOM® platform increases understanding of cancer risk in cancer-predisposed patients”. Another member of the breast cancer team, Mr.Peter Kang also presented his work at the conference on Sequenom® Technology in collaboration with Alpha Analytical (M) Sdn.Bhd.
Associate Genetic Counsellor, Miss Yoon Sook-Yee won 3rd prize at a poster presentation entitled Uptake of Predictive Testing Among Relatives of BRCA1 and BRCA2 Families in Malaysia’ at the 1st Malaysia Conference on Rare Disorders and Medical Genetics Conference 2011.
Professor Dr Teo represented the South East Asian Breast Cancer Association Study (SEABASS; a consoritumo of investigators at CARIF, University Malaya, UKM, and National University Hospital) and attended the annual assembly of Collaborative Oncological Gene-Environment Study (COGS) at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden. COGS project is funded by the European Commission and 7th Framework Programme and it is aimed at discovering individuals with an increased risk to breast, ovarian and prostate cancer. COGS comprise of various consortia including The Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC), Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium (OCAC) and PRostate cancer AssoCiation group To Investigate Cancer Associated aLterations in the genome (PRACTICAL) and others.
College of Surgeons, Academy of Medicine of Malaysia hosted its Annual General Meeting/Annual Scientific Meeting in Sarawak from the 19th - 22nd May 2011. Professor Dr Teo was invited to deliver two talks: the first on “Should Developing Countries Conduct Investigator Initiated Intervention Trials?” and the second, on “A Myriad of Genetic Tests in Breast Cancer”
At the invitation of the Cancer Education & Outreach Services Laboratory (CaEd Services) at University Putra Malaya, Professor Dr Teo gave a talk on Kanser Payudara Keturunan. One of the few goals of this seminar was to educate the public on the fundamentals of genetic and its association to cancer.
Alpha Analytical and CARIF co-hosted the 2nd seminar entitled Genotyping and Mutation Detection on the Sequenom MassARRAY®at Sime Darby Medical Centre. Twelve participants were given an introductory talk by Professor Dr Teo on Sequenom capabilities and its cost-effectiveness in genotyping. Mr. Cheah then continued with a tutorial on Sequenom bioinformatics tools. The seminar highlighted that CARIF currently operates an open access system to the high-throughput genotyping facility.
The first stakeholders’ meeting for patient navigation was held at University Malaya. CARIF-UMMC Patient Navigation Programme’s mission is to develop a structured programme to address challenges faced by cancer patients in accessing care while its vision is to improve survival and quality of life of Malaysian cancer patients. The meeting was attended by breast surgeons, radiologists, oncologists, breast care nurses and breast cancer survivors from Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya and Seremban.
Professor Dr Teo was invited to give a talk entitled How to be fully equipped to face the biotechnology job market upon graduation to the first batch of final year undergraduates of the Medical Biotechnology Course at the International Medical University (IMU).
Professor Dr Teo delivered a talk on Genetics and Gynaecological Malignancies at the Gynaecological Oncology Seminar held at University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC).
CARIF researchers together with collaborators from University Malaya published a paper in Familial Cancer. The main aim of this research was to observe the uptake and acceptance of genetic counseling (GC) and genetic testing services to Asian BRCA carriers in a middle-income country as such services have been described only in developed and high-income Asian countries. Although GC and genetic testing were accepted by 82% of Malaysian patients at high risk for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC) syndromes, there remain significant cultural taboos, societal and regulatory barriers to effective cancer genetic services in this underserved Asian population. Therefore, it is important to increase awareness about the potential benefits of GC and genetic testing in Asians.
Professor Dr Teo was invited to deliver a talk entitled Molecular Aspects of Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma (NPC) at the 6th Annual Scientific Meeting of Asia Pacific Society for Molecular Immunohistology (APSMI). The meeting was held from the 7th - 9th January 2011 at Sunway Medical Centre, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.
Breast Cancer Research Symposium was held in Singapore to bring together dedicated researches to discuss various aspects of breast cancer. Professor Dr Teo spoke on Genetics of familial breast cancer in Malaysia’s multi-ethnic population.
Together with the University Malaya Cancer Research Institute, the breast cancer research team hosted Professor Dr Gunaretnam Rajagopal, Executive Director of the Bioinformatics and Chief Information Officer at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, USA, and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology, Robert Wood John Medical School, New Jersey, USA on a Malaysian Ministry of Science (MOSTI) and Academy of Science Malaysia (ASM) Brain Gain Distinguished Visitors Programme. Professor Gunaretnam is tasked with developing and deploying state-of-the-art cyber-infrastructure, clinical/bioinformatics support services as well as leading research in biomedical informatics and computational/systems biology in support of translational research at CINJ. He heads the Cancer Informatics Core at CINJ whose mission is “Realising Translational Medicine: From the Bench to the Bedside (and Back)”.
Professor Dr Teo gave a plenary lecture entitled "Opportunities for Cancer Research in Malaysia" during the Annual Scientific Congress of Malaysian Oncology Society 2010 at Kota Bharu, Kelantan.
CARIF was nominated as the sole beneficiary of the inaugural Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tournament organized by Sime Darby Berhad. The tournament was held at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club from 20-22 October. In conjunction to that, a charity gala dinner joined by local and international ladies golfers was held at the Sime Darby Convention Centre to raise fund for breast cancer research in CARIF. In total, RM435,993 was raised through the event.
For the third year in a row, CARIF Breast Cancer Research was selected to be one of the 4 recipients for funds raised through the Estee Lauder Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Series of activities were held, including the illumination of Sultan Abdul Samad building; awareness road shows in Mid Valley Megamall and One Utama Shopping Complex and a charity concert entitled ‘A Pink Charity Evening with Frances Yip Accompanied by The Orchestra’. In total, RM500,000 was raised and CARIF received RM137,500 to enable further research in the Malaysian breast cancer genetic study (which is the largest study in South-East Asia) to find new genes that cause breast cancer, and possible ways of curing the cancer more effectively.
Professor Dr Teo Soo Hwang, Dr Cheong Sok Ching and Dr Lee Hong Boon gave a presentation during the My1Bio Conferene 2010 at Berjaya Times Square Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. The presentations’ titles were “Genetic predisposition to breast cancer in Malaysia’s multi-ethnic population”, “Identification of targetable cancer proteins and the development of novel therapeutics in oral squamous cell carcinoma” and “Naturally-derived photosensitisers for photodynamic therapy” respectively. A total of 8 posters were also presented at the conference.
Professor Dr Teo gave a presentation at the Breast Cancer Research meeting held at Universiti Malaya.
CARIF CEO, Professor Dr Teo represented 5 Southeast Asian’s Cancer NGOs (CARIF, National Cancer Society Malaysia, Hospis, MyWatch, Breast Cancer Welfare Association) to attend the American Cancer Society Advocacy Workshop in Hong Kong.
The Breast Cancer Research team’s members – Professor Dr Teo, Ms Yoon Sook-Yee and Ms Daphne Lee attended the kConFab conference in Mantra Bay, Australia. Held jointly between kConFab, Australian Breast Cancer Family Study, Australian Colorectal Cancer Family Study, Australian Ovarian Cancer Study and the Family Cancer Clinics of Australia and New Zealand, the conference focuses mainly on current research in familial cancers such as breast, ovarian and colorectal cancer and on risk management issues in genetic counseling. Ms Yoon and Ms Daphne Lee also presented their posters on the conference.
The breast cancer research team, together with researchers at University Malaya and the Genome Institute of Singapore, published a paper on the frequency and spectrum of large genomic rearrangements in the breast cancer genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, in Malaysian women in Breast Cancer Research Treatment (impact factor 5.6). This paper showed that large genomic rearrangements account for 8% of BRCA1 deleterious mutations and 4% of BRCA2 deleterious mutations and suggests that testing for large genomic rearrangements should be included as part of genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2.
Professor Dr Teo was invited to give a talk entitled “Genetic counseling and genetic testing in women” at the College of Surgeon Malaysia.
April - May 2010
CARIF Chief Executive and Group Leader of the Breast Cancer Research Team, Dr Teo was as an Eisenhower Fellow in the Multinational Programme 2010. Together with 18 other young leaders from 17 countries, Dr Teo spent 7 weeks in the USA. During her Fellowship, Dr Teo met with lead scientists in cancer research and treatment, with a particular focus on identifying ways to improve survival for poor and underserved populations.
CARIF Chief Executive and Group Leader of the Breast Cancer Research Team, Dr Teo was appointed as Adjunct Professor at the Department of Surgery, University Malaya Medical Centre, University Malaya.
The breast cancer research team’s paper on the prevalence of CHEK2 1100delC mutations in Malaysian breast cancer patients was published in Familial Cancer. This paper showed that CHEK2 1100delC mutations are rare in Asian breast cancer patients and suggests that testing for this SNP may offer no benefit to cancer patients in Asia.
For the second year, CARIF Breast Cancer Research was selected to be one of the 4 recipients for funds raised through the Estee Lauder Breast Cancer Awareness Month. A total of RM402,000 is raised, of which RM100,500 was donated to CARIF. Funds were used for breast cancer research in CARIF.
CARIF CEO, Dr Teo was awarded the Prestige Magazine Most Promising Female Top40 Under40 Award. The award is in recognition to those who have made significant contributions to the community and country as a whole.
August - December 2009
Dr Eswary Thirthagiri was awarded the Post-Doctoral Fellowship from the Brain Gain Programme of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) to work in Dr Shyam Sharan’s laboratory at the National Cancer Institute from August-December 2009.
Together with University Malaya Faculty of Surgery, the International Union Against Cancer (UICC) Asia Regional Office, Medical University of Vienna and Prince Court Medical Centre, CARIF organizes a two day meeting on Asian Breast Cancer Research. The meeting which brought together researchers from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan, Austria and USA, had symposia on genetic epidemiology of breast cancer in Asia, clinic pathological features of breast cancer in Asia and early detection and clinical trials in Asia. The meeting was preceded by a one day workshop on “Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer” at Prince Court Medical Centre.
CARIF CEO, Dr Teo was interviewed by the Malaysian Medical Tribune (September issue) on the topic of Breast Cancer Genetic Study.
CARIF researchers were awarded the top two prizes for the Best Free Paper Presentations at the Malaysian Oncological Society Annual Meeting held in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Dr Teo presented the results of the collaborative effort by CARIF and University Malaya researchers to dissect the genes that cause an increased risk to breast cancer in Malaysian women.
CARIF CEO, Dr Teo was interviewed by the Health & Beauty magazine (October issue) on the topic of Genetic Link in Breast Cancer. In this article, Dr Teo discussed the increasing incidence of breast cancer in Malaysia and ongoing research at CARIF in order to find better ways of preventing, diagnosing and treating breast cancer in Malaysia.
CARIF Breast Cancer Research was selected to be one of the 4 recipients for funds raised through the Estee Lauder Breast Cancer Awareness Month. A total of RM280,000 is raised, of which RM70,000 was donated to CARIF.
Dr Teo and Dr Thong Meow Keong (Cancer Clinical Geneticist from University Malaya) were featured in an article entitled “Warisi barah payu dara – kaunseling genetic penting untuk membantu pesakit memahami dan membuat pilihan” in Metro on 12 October 2008.
CARIF's work in collaboration with University Malaya was presented at the kConFab Familial Cancer Conference in Brisbane, Australia. In addition, Ms Yoon Sook-Yee’s abstract was selected for oral presentation. Her work, a collaborative effort between University Malaya and CARIF, describes the first study of providing genetic counseling in a multi-ethnic multi-religious country for genetic predisposition to breast cancer
August - October 2008
Byline articles written by CARIF CEO, Dr Teo on the Breast Cancer and Genetic Services were featured in the Star Fit4Life pullout, from August to October 2008.
The breast cancer research team, together with University Malaya, published a paper on the frequency and spectrum of genetic alterations in the breast cancer genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, in Malaysian women in Breast Cancer Research. This paper showed that the majority of mutations which are found in Malaysian women are novel and that the risk prediction models which have been established mainly based on multiplex families and in populations which have higher incidence of breast cancer, significantly underpredicted the number of carriers in Malaysia. This work highlights the urgency of developing better risk prediction models for Asians.
The breast cancer research team’s paper on the prevalence of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations in young Malaysian breast cancer patients was published in PlosOne. This paper described the incidence of genetic alterations in the breast cancer genes amongst young women who develop breast cancer.
CARIF researchers won two awards at the American Association for Cancer Research Meeting in San Diego USA. CARIF CEO, Dr Teo, was awarded the NCI-AACR International Investigator’s Opportunity Grant. Dr Teo presented the results of the collaborative effort by CARIF and University Malaya in determining the utility of risk prediction models on Asian populations.
CARIF CEO, Dr Teo and Post-doctoral researcher, Dr.Eswary Thirthagiri, were awarded the Malaysian British High Commissioners Bilateral Award to visit the laboratory of Professor Hani Gabra at Imperial College London and to establish a new collaborative effort in ovarian cancer research.
CARIF's Post Doctoral Scientist for Breast Cancer Research, Dr Eswary Thirthagiri, was awarded the Wellcome Trust Advanced Course Bursary to attend the Human Genome Analysis: Genetic Analysis of Multifactorial Diseases workshop at the Sanger Institute in Cambridge United Kingdom. This course provided excellent exposure to designing and analyzing data from population-based genetic studies.
CARIF CEO Dr Teo Soo Hwang was one of the 6 women honoured by The Malaysian Women’s Weekly magazine for their contributions and efforts in various categories in the “Great Women of Our Time Award”. Dr.Teo was the winner in the category for “Health, Sports and Fitness”. The awards were presented by the Minister for Woman, Family and Community Development, Datuk Seri Sharizat Abdul Jalil.
CARIF CEO Dr Teo Soo Hwang and CARIF Group Leader for Drug Discovery, Dr Lee Hong Boon, were awarded a Travel Award from the Singapore Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology to attend the UK-Singapore Workshop on Animal Models for Human Diseases. Subsequently, both researchers are awarded the British High Commissioner’s (Singapore) Bilateral Travel Award in October 2007 to establish collaborative research links with Dr Elizabeth Patton at the University of Edinburgh on zebrafish as a model organism to conduct cancer research and drug discovery.
CARIF was awarded e-Science grants of RM100,000 each from Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) for two cancer projects – one on breast cancer and the other on oral cancer.
CARIF CEO, Dr Teo Soo Hwang was awarded the PRU Lady Award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to health and medical research and the significant milestones achieved in her career.
500th blood sample collected from breast cancer patient at the Breast Cancer Clinic in UMMC, establishing largest breast cancer patient cohort in a single study in Malaysia.