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 Hospital
The National University Hospital (NUH) is a tertiary hospital and major referral centre with over 50 medical, surgical and dental specialties, offering a comprehensive suite of specialist care for adults, women and children.
As an academic health institution, patient safety and good clinical outcomes are the focus of the Hospital. It plays a key role in the training of doctors, nurses, allied health and other healthcare professionals. Translational research is pivotal in the Hospital’s three-pronged focus, and paves the way for new cures and treatment.
The VIVA-University Children’s Cancer Centre (VUC3), is an outpatient facility catering to infants, children and adolescents with cancer and blood diseases. Housed in NUH and funded by the Singapore Totalisator Board and VIVA Foundation, this facility is the centre for training and treatment of children with cancer.
A member of the National University Health System (NUHS), NUH is the principal teaching hospital of the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and the NUS Faculty of Dentistry.
NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine
Established in 1905, the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine is the first institution of higher learning in Singapore and the genesis of the National University of Singapore.
The School offers one of the finest undergraduate medical programmes in the Asia-Pacific region and enjoys international recognition and respect. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019 by subject and Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings by Subject 2019 list NUS Medicine as the leading medical school in Asia.
It admits 300 students to the MBBS degree programme annually and its principal missions are to educate and train the next generation of healthcare professionals, and foster research that will help to advance the practice of medicine.
The 18 NUS Medicine departments in the basic sciences and clinical specialties work closely with the Centre for Medical Education, the Centre for Biomedical Ethics, the Centre for Healthcare Simulation as well as the restructured public hospitals to ensure that teaching and research are aligned and relevant to Singapore’s healthcare needs. The School is a founding institutional member of the National University Health System (NUHS).
Housed in NUS, the VIVA-NUS Centre for Translational Research in Acute Leukaemia (CenTRAL) is a clinical research arm that translates findings into medical care. The centre aims to improve cure rates and quality of life of patients with leukaemia and hematologic cancer in Singapore and the region, through accurate leukaemia classification, prediction and determination of treatment response, and the development of innovative therapies.
KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital
KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital has evolved over the decades, since its founding in 1858, into a leader in Obstetrics, Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Neonatology. Today, the 830-bed hospital is a referral centre providing tertiary services to manage high-risk conditions in women and children. A team of about 500 specialists adopt a compassionate, multi-disciplinary and holistic approach to treatment, and harness the latest medical innovations and technology to deliver the best medical care possible.
KKH is a major teaching hospital for Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine. The hospital also runs the largest specialist training programme for Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Paediatrics in Singapore.
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 for children with cancer 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 them. The centre is equipped with 23 inpatient beds, 4 Bone Marrow Transplant rooms, 12 Day Therapy beds 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 April 1998, the Blood Stem Cell Transplantation programme have successfully transplanted more than 200 haemotopoietic cases. 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 resides within the Paeds ACP, leveraging on KKH’s and Paeds ACP’s strengths and networks in treating paediatric brain and solid tumours. St. Jude lent its knowledge and expertise, while VIVA helped 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.