Patrick Tan, MD, PhD
Photo: Patrick Tan



Elected 2013

Our research focuses on developing genomic approaches to unlock the molecular and clinical diversity of gastric cancer (also known as stomach cancer) — the second highest cause of global cancer mortality. At present, most gastric cancer (GC) patients are clinically treated with uniform “one-size-fits-all” surgery and chemotherapy regimens. However, individual gastric tumors can often vary in their genetic aberrations, which can regulate disease aggressiveness and treatment response. To improve clinical outcomes for GC patients, our group is developing methods to classify different GC patients into distinct subgroups based on their molecular profiles, identifying specific “Achilles heel” genes required for cancer development in each subgroup, and translating these discoveries into optimized and tailored subgroup-specific treatments.

Our group has defined transcriptional subtypes of GC and translated these findings into an industry — international multicenter clinical trial. We have also identified key molecular aberrations in GC, including recurrently mutated genes, gene fusions, and somatic copy number alterations. Our group is a core pillar of the Singapore Gastric Cancer Consortium, a national multidisciplinary team of >20 leading clinicians and researchers working together to improve our basic and clinical understanding of GC. Besides GC, we are also extending similar approaches to other cancers endemic to Asia, such as certain types of liver cancer and lymphomas.