The Vision of Oral Cancer Research & Coordinating Centre (OCRCC) is to provide a framework for oral cancer research via systematic collection and sharing of data and specimen such that there is successful translation of basic research into clinical practice. Our main aim is to carry out research in oral cancer, and to coordinate oral cancer research in Malaysia such that there is no overlaps and wastage of resources. Our niche area is the early detection of oral cancer. Research is being carried out/planned by our researchers and collaborators on various aspects such as epidemiology, molecular biology, diagnostic tools, novel therapeutics/drug discoveries, as well as impact of the disease on the patient’s quality of life.
OCRCC’s core activity is the continuous collection of data and specimens from oral cancer patients from participating hospital-based centres all over the country for future research endeavor in the field of oral cancer. This has led to the development of a biobank named the Malaysian Oral Cancer Database & Tissue Bank System (MOCDTBS). The existence of this biobank enables large epidemiological studies with long-term follow-ups of patients and meaningful molecular epidemiological studies to be carried out. Findings from our fundamental research can be translated into clinical practice such that there is early detection of disease, while new information established can be disseminated to the public through health promotion/cancer prevention activities in the hope that the oral cancer burden in Malaysia can be significantly reduced.
Since its inception in 2005, this Centre has managed to accelerate research in the field of oral cancer. So far, more than 70 students have pursued their postgraduate studies on various aspects of oral cancer research, utilizing resources from this Centre. Acceleration of research in the field of oral cancer through the existence of the biobank has also resulted in the publication of more than 160 papers in indexed journals.
Apart from collecting specimens and carrying out research, OCRCC is also committed to increasing awareness among the public on this debilitating disease. The Mouth Cancer Awareness Week (MCAW) is an annual event aiming to increase public awareness on oral cancer, which is carried out by the Centre with our collaborative partners namely Oral Health Division, Ministry of Health, Cancer Research Malaysia, as well as dental schools from public and private institutions in the Klang Valley. Various activities are carried out throughout the week such as free dental screening, poster exhibition, video presentation and exposure on mass media. Besides that, a walkathon is also held as part of the awareness week programme. In addition, OCRCC recently has started a patient supportive care program at the Faculty of Dentistry, University of Malaya, which aims to provide a holistic support for oral cancer survivors and their carers throughout their journey with cancer to improve their quality of life.
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