Singapore's National Cancer Centre to quadruple capacity by 2022

Caption: 
Image courtesy of National Cancer Centre Singapore

Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong officiated at the groundbreaking ceremony for the National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) new building at SGH Campus today.

With rising cancer incidence in Singapore, the new NCCS building will be four times larger than the current centre to meet future needs. Located on SGH Campus, the new one-stop 24-storey NCCS will house facilities dedicated to cancer care and rehabilitation, research and education. The building is targeted to be ready by 2022.

Prof Soo Khee Chee, Director of NCCS said, “In planning for the new building, our focus is on providing person-centred care that addresses all the needs of cancer patients and their family members. We have learnt from our collective experiences at NCCS and best practices from renowned cancer centres overseas. The design and layout of the clinics and waiting areas are all carefully planned to improve flow and care coordination.”

Patient Centric Design

One major consideration in the planning and design of the new NCCS building is how to make it patient-centric, focused on the comfort, convenience and needs of the patients to serve them better.

Each disease group, for example breast cancer or colorectal cancer, will have its own dedicated space to house clinical, research and education facilities in close proximity. The design approach will facilitate the flow of patients and ensure services are within easy reach to provide patients and caregivers convenience. For example, the Breast Imaging Room will be located in close proximity to the Breast Clinic.

In addition, all vertical lift cores will be easily seen and accessed from the reception areas on each floor, minimising patient footsteps.

Organising multiple services according to cancer sites such as Head & Neck, Blood and Lung, under one convenient location will have the added benefit of creating operational efficiencies for staff. It will serve to foster collaboration, knowledge sharing and access to medical and scientific experts to improve patient outcomes.

Another patient-centric feature is the Patients’ Resource Centre which aims to help patients and their caregivers make informed decisions on cancer care and treatment. Equipped with computers and useful resources on cancer, it will be a space where patients and their caregivers can browse through materials relating to cancer care and treatment.

Apart from the Patients’ Resource Centre, the Mental and Physical Wellness Clinic will provide various services and programmes to enhance the quality of life for patients. Some of these services include physiotherapy, counselling and patient support groups.

Research and Innovation

NCCS has embarked on Immunotherapy Research for over ten years and sees immunotherapy as one of the key treatments to fight cancer. There are plans to develop a clinical GMP facility in the new NCCS building to support clinical trials in immunotherapy.

The new research facilities will provide expanded capacity for NCCS to work with oncology researchers within SingHealth and team up with researchers from the Duke-NUS Cancer and Stem Cell Biology (CSCB) Programme to conduct research on cancer that affects the Asian community to deliver impactful and patient-oriented outcomes through research.

Proton Therapy Centre

The new building will house a new comprehensive proton therapy facility which will be named the Goh Cheng Liang Proton Therapy Centre. The Proton Therapy Centre is the culmination of some ten years of planning to identify and source for the equipment that best suits treatment needs.

Proton therapy is a relatively new mode of radiation therapy that destroys cancer cells using positively charged subatomic particles. This allows for more precise targeting of a tumour compared to the x-rays used in standard radiotherapy.  This may cause less damage to nearby healthy tissues and organs, and hence, potentially, less treatment-related side effects. 

NCCS will also be undertaking further research to better define the risks and benefits of proton therapy, as compared to conventional radiotherapy.  

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