SJMC Touts Breakthrough Technology for Lung Cancer Treatment

Subang Jaya Medical Centre, in collaboration with AstraZeneca and Pfizer, has launched a patient access programme to provide genetic next-generation sequencing of their lung cancer at substantially reduced costs.

Advanced version of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) conducted in SJMC, the Ion Torrent GenexusTM Integrated Sequencer,
is set to revolutionise late-stage lung cancer diagnosis and treatment in Malaysia.

Subang Jaya Medical Centre (SJMC) has announced the arrival of the most recent and advanced version of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), the Ion Torrent GenexusTM Integrated Sequencer, to treat advanced lung cancer.

SJMC, in collaboration with pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca and Pfizer, has launched an innovative subsidised patient access programme called NEXUS 2.0. Under this initiative, patients with advanced lung cancer can benefit from rapid comprehensive genetic NGS profiling of their cancers at substantially reduced costs.

With the availability of rapid NGS results delivered within one to three days unlike two to three weeks previously, patients can gain access to life-changing individualised, targeted treatment of their cancers.

Striving to Provide One of the Best Cancer Treatment in Malaysia

"As one of the leading healthcare providers, we are continuously exploring ways to improve how we meet and optimise the treatment of cancer patients. This revolutionary technology and the subsidised patient access programme at SJMC will alter the landscape of how advanced-stage lung cancer is managed," said Greg Brown, Group Chief Executive Officer of Ramsay Sime Darby Health Care (RSDH), in a statement.  SJMC’s laboratory is an internationally recognised MS ISO 15189, accredited since 2009.

Prof. Dr Pathmanathan Rajadurai, SJMC consultant pathologist and laboratory director, said: "The lung cancer disease burden globally and in Malaysia is huge, with most patients being diagnosed at an advanced stage. Every 30 seconds, somewhere in the world, someone with advanced lung cancer dies.

"The discovery of specific genetic defects within lung cancer cells has allowed us to precisely target these cancer cells while sparing the patients' normal cells, allowing us to realise the promise of precision medicine. The acquisition and deployment of this new technological platform in our facility substantially shortens the time from diagnosis to commencement of targeted treatment, which is extremely critical in the management of lung cancer, an otherwise fatal disease.

"Without a doubt, the impact of lung cancer is tremendous on both the patient and loved ones. The innovative and rapid methodology will dramatically change the treatment of advanced and inoperable lung cancer in this region, with better clinical outcomes as patients receive the right life-saving treatment much earlier," he added.

Clinical Oncology Collaboration for Life-Changing Cancer Therapy

AstraZeneca Malaysia country president Dr Sanjeev Panchal said: "We at AstraZeneca are committed towards alleviating the burden of lung cancer, and one of the ways of how we do this is by improving access for patients to new innovative, technology-driven diagnostics. As patients are at the heart of everything we do, our aim is to help those with financial constraints to gain access to advanced technologies to treat their cancer promptly and with precision.

"This strategic partnership between SJMC and AstraZeneca is meaningful, and we are convinced that it will complement our corporate responsibility efforts to improve patients access and affordability to sustainable healthcare solutions for life-changing treatment and prevention."

Pfizer Malaysia and Brunei country manager Luksanawan Thangpaibool said: "Pfizer’s commitment to Oncology began nearly two decades ago. Today, our extensive portfolio of cancer therapies continues to break boundaries in cancer care with comprehensive and innovative treatment options. Our purpose is clear – to deliver breakthroughs that change patient's lives.

"Pfizer also works hand-in-hand with the broader cancer community to support people with lung cancer, including metastatic disease. We are proud to be part of the NEXUS 2.0 patient access programme to support patients throughout their treatment journey, including financial needs so that we can put effective treatments in the hands of those who need it," she added.

1. CodeBlue
2. New Straits Times (NST)