Organisers and Partners
VIVA Foundation for Children with Cancer
VIVA Foundation for Children with Cancer is a Singapore-based charity which focuses on saving lives of children with cancer through research, medical care and education. Cancer is a leading cause of death by illness among children today. There are different types of cancers which afflict children, from leukaemias and brain tumours to sarcomas and others.
VIVA Foundation focuses on life-saving leading-edge research, medical care and education. We are racing against time to develop better treatments, faster cures and to make newer discoveries. We believe these would all translate into better survival rates with less late-effects for affected children.
The word "VIVA" is an acclamation for "long live!" and VIVA works to save the lives of children with cancer, as every child deserves a future. VIVA works very closely with the world-renowned St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (Tennessee, USA) with the ambitious aim of translating the high cure rates achieved by St Jude into Singapore and the wider Asia region.
VIVA’s work to save the lives of as many children as possible is supported by a small but growing group of dedicated partners, fantastic volunteers and kind-hearted donors.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (Memphis, Tennessee, USA)
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is the only U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. St. Jude is a specialty research hospital for children that focuses on providing exceptional care to patients with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. St. Jude researchers discovered the first successful curative treatment for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Today, the survival rate for St. Jude patients with ALL is 94 percent, an unprecedented rate. St. Jude uses a unique model that ensures patient families never receive a bill for treatment, travel, housing and food. Through St. Jude Global, the institution strives to improve cancer cure rates around the world.
In 2018, St. Jude became the first World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Childhood Cancer. Together with the VIVA Foundation and leading institutions in Singapore, St. Jude hopes to continually improve the treatment and research of childhood cancers, and the training of pediatric oncologists in Asia and beyond.
National University Health System
Recognising the importance of research, education and quality medical care in furthering the standards of medicine, the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education has embarked on a new paradigm of medicine in Singapore with the establishment of the National University Health System (NUHS). NUHS combines the National University Hospital (NUH), the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and Faculty of Dentistry from the National University of Singapore (NUS) under the same governance and mission to improve standards of medicine through the triple mission of research, education and medical care. This is reflected in NUHS logo of 3 nearly concentric circles representing each of these highly integrated missions. This novel model will enable NUHS to pursue excellence in medicine through highly integrated translational, clinical research and training and education.
NUHS is closely plugged into its parent bodies, namely NUS and National Healthcare Group. It will function as medical clusters akin to the human body where organs work seamlessly as a system. Spearheading this will be the two National Specialty Centres in Cardiovascular and Cancer medicine.
Housed in NUH, the VIVA-University Children’s Cancer Centre (VUC3) has expanded in 2013 to two sites – an in-patient unit housed in Ward 8B, Kent Ridge Wing in the National University Hospital and an out-patient unit located on Level 9 in the NUH Medical Centre consisting of consultation rooms, teaching and day therapy facilities. The day therapy section has 10 day therapy beds, two beds for HSCT patients and one isolation bed.
This facility is the seat of the St. Jude-VIVA International Outreach Programme and the VIVA Foundation's Centre of Excellence for the treatment of childhood cancers. Funded by the Singapore Totalisator Board and VIVA Foundation, it is the centre for research, training and treatment of children with cancer for VIVA Foundation.
It provides training for doctors, nurses, technologists, administrators, care-givers and other personnel from both Singapore and the region, in the care, treatment and follow-up of children with cancer and childhood cancer survivors. It aims to be a centre for clinical research in paediatric oncology and paediatric stem cell transplantation. Its vision is to bring paediatric cancer treatment to the highest level in Asia.
KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital
KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) is the only integrated women’s and children’s hospital in Singapore, and offers a full range of tertiary services in obstetrics, gynaecology, neonatology and paediatrics. KKH is also a teaching hospital affiliated with the National University of Singapore (NUS) Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School and the Nanyang Technological University Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine.
The KKH Children's Cancer Centre is among the largest paediatric children's cancer centres in South-east Asia and treats 70% of childhood cancers in Singapore. A comprehensive range of services are offered and a multi-disciplinary team comprising paediatric oncologists, paediatric neurosurgeons, paediatric oncology surgeons, anaesthetists, in-house pathologists and pharmacists along with specially trained paediatric/oncology nurses and paramedical personnel care for children with cancer. The centre is equipped with 23 inpatient beds, 4 Bone Marrow Transplant rooms, 12 Day Therapy for outpatient treatment, and a pharmacy which dispenses only oncology drugs. There are also pheresis facilities to support stem cell transplant in the treatment of cancer. Since 1998, it has conducted more than 200 hematopoietic stem cell transplants. In 2002, KKH performed the first successful cord blood transplant.
Through SingHealth’s strategic partnership in Academic Medicine with the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, the Obstetrics & Gynaecology Academic Clinical Programme (OBGYN ACP) and the Paediatrics Academic Clinical Programme (Paeds ACP) were pioneered by KKH in 2011 to play a significant role in shaping the future of clinical care in Singapore for women and children through its focus on research, training, and education.
To advance the care for childhood brain and solid tumours, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH), VIVA Foundation for Children with Cancer (VIVA), and world-renown St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, USA (St. Jude), agreed to establish the VIVA-KKH Paediatric Brain and Solid Tumour Programme. Spearheaded by KKH, this clinical and research programme, which resides within the Paeds ACP, will be a phased three-year pilot project and will leverage on KKH’s and Paeds ACP’s strengths and networks in treating paediatric brain and solid tumours. St. Jude will lend its knowledge and expertise, while VIVA is helping to raise funds to make the programme possible.
A total of $12.95 million was pledged, with $4.75 million from KKH and $8.2 million from VIVA. The programme was officially launched in October 2015.
The Programme focuses on three key areas:
1) Improving clinical care for childhood brain and solid cancers – the creation of a team of dedicated
solid tumour and cancer case managers coordinating multidisciplinary care and research.
2) Bench to bedside translational clinical research for childhood brain and solid cancers – the establishment of a molecular pathology programme centred at KKH to undergird existing translational research efforts.
3) Prevention, control and population-based science – strengthening the manpower for the Singapore Childhood Cancer Registry by appointing dedicated data managers for brain and solid tumours, and supportive care.