12 Feb 2016



The first comprehensive guidelines on the systemic management of cancer in Singapore have been developed by the Singapore Cancer Network (SCAN) and published in the October 2015 issue of Annals, Academy of Medicine, Singapore. These guidelines have been internationally peer reviewed and endorsed by the Chapter of Medical Oncologists, Academy of Medicine, Singapore as well as the Singapore Society of Oncology. Nine specialist workgroups comprised of over 70 subspecialists from both public and private institutions were involved in developing this national consensus of 15 guidelines for the systemic treatment of almost all common solid cancers, with a special focus on areas of practice heterogeneity.


Dr Tan Min-Han, lead editor of the SCAN guidelines, said "Best practices in Singapore do not always mirror recommendations in USA or Europe due to differences in local cancer epidemiology and adverse drug reaction profiles. While guidelines are not tramlines and treatment individualisation is an art of medicine, such harmonising of cancer treatment as recommended by expert oncologists in both public and private sectors will benefit patients and provide a useful reference standard of treatment for a significant majority of patients."

The SCAN practice recommendations for best care in Singapore were developed following consideration of best practices worldwide, selection and calibration. The audience envisioned for these guidelines includes professionals, patients and policymakers. For clinicians, including medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgeons, oncology pharmacists, the SCAN guidelines serve as a framework of quality care for systemic therapy in Singapore as defined by subspecialists. For patients, a national consensus on cancer care developed within Singapore will provide both education and reassurance of high quality care. Finally, for policymakers, the guidelines serve as an independent professional national reference useful for understanding a complex and challenging field of medicine. The guidelines are scheduled for review and updating on an annual basis to maintain relevance to patients and professionals.

Full texts of guidelines are available online for subscribers and also reproduced by permission for accessibility at www.cancernetwork.sg.