Prof Patrick Tan

Professor Patrick Tan
MD PhD | Professor, Programme in Cancer & Stem Cell Biology
Duke-NUS Medical School | Director, Duke-NUS Genome Biology Facility

Research Interest: 
Genomic Oncology of Stomach Cancer Our research focuses on developing genomic
approaches to unlock the molecular and clinical diversity of gastric cancer (aka 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. Over the past decade, our group has made important contributions
to the GC field. We have defined transcriptional subtypes of GC (Tay et al, 2003; Tan et
al., 2011) and translated these findings into an industry- international multi-centre
clinical trial. We identified the first recurrent fusion genes in GC (BRAF fusions and CD44-
SLC1A2) (Palanisamy et al., 2010 in collaboration with Arul Chinnaiyan; Tao et al., 2011),
and reported the first comprehensive studies of somatic copy number alterations and
epigenetic alterations in GC (Deng et al., 2012; Zouridis et al., 2012). In collaboration
with Prof Teh Bin Tean and A/Prof Steve Rozen, we have also reported pioneering
studies in applying next-generation sequencing to GC and other cancers endemic to Asia
(Zang et al., 2012; Ong et al., 2012). Our group is a core pillar of the Singapore Gastric
Cancer Consortium, a national multi-disciplinary team of >20 leading clinicians and researchers working together to improve our basic and clinical understanding of GC.