Your browser does not support JavaScript!



[2019/04/26]TVGH-NYMU Establishes with United States a Cross Continental Research Laboratory in Taiwan in order to Better Understand the Genomics of Asian and Western Pulmonary Cancer

TVGH-NYMU is collaborating with the United States to establish a transnational research laboratory. The official press conference.


On observing the research strengths of the Taipei Veterans General Hospital-National Yang-Ming University (TVGH-NYMU) team, the United States National Cancer Institute selected the TVGH-NYMU team as their collaboration partner and their first transnational research laboratory in Taiwan has been established. The collaboration period will be five years and will focus on pulmonary cancer. The hope is to better understand the differences between Asian and Western cancer genomics, ultimately developing precision medicine approaches to the treatment of this disease.


Pulmonary cancer has been increasing year by year recently, and its mortality rate is the highest of all types of cancers in both Taiwan and the United States. Pulmonary adenocarcinoma is the main type of pulmonary cancer seen among patients in Taiwan and the United States. However, there are significant differences in the genetic mutations present in the cancers from these two groups of patients when the two countries are compared. In Taiwan, the majority of the patients have an EGFR (epithelial growth factor receptor) gene mutation, whereas, in the United States the proportion of patients with an EGFR gene mutation is substantially lower. In order for doctors to determine the best treatment plan and to allow them to choose the optimum target-drug therapy for pulmonary cancer patients, they must first determine the type of genetic mutations that have occurred in their patient. The differences in gene mutations result in very different treatment strategies being used in the East and West. It is hoped that this collaboration between Taiwan and the United States will help to identify what are the causes of this divergence in gene mutations and this will help in turn with the development of precision medicine based clinical approaches to the treating of pulmonary cancer.



  Main contributor to this collaboration, Mrs. Solarz, attends the press conference.(left) President Kou presents a gift to the Director Schrump of the United States National Institute of Health as a memento of his visit.


Former US House of Representative for New York State, Stephen J. Solarz, was friend of Taiwan throughout his time in office. While in office, he repeatedly proposed in Congress many bills to support Taiwan and visited Taiwan many times. After his passing, his wife Nina K. Solarz continues to support Taiwan. Under the foundation established in the name of Solarz, it has been possible to help many Taiwanese doctors to study in the United States. The establishment of the research laboratory in Taiwan under the United States National Institute of Health Cancer Institute was facilitated by the support provided by the Solarz foundation. Last year, the foundation and the Cancer institute came to Taiwan to find a candidate for collaboration. The TVGH-NYMU team stood out. After a year of negotiation, the research laboratory was officially established recently. In the near future, the US will send a large group of scientists to National Yang-Ming University and Taipei Veterans General Hospital and these researchers will focus on the study of the genetic and epigenetic differences between pulmonary cancer genomes in Asia and the West.


This large-scale collaboration project between Taiwan and the United States will be hosted by director David Schrump of the United States Cancer Institute Thoracic and Gastrointestinal Oncology Department, the Vice- President of NYMU and director of the NYMU-VYM Genome Research Center Mu-Hua Yang, TVGH Medical Research Department Director Shih-Hwa Chiou and TVGH Department of Pathology and Inspection Director Teh-Ying Chou. Professor Yang specializes in tumor molecular biology, while Professor Chiou is a tumor stem cell expert and Professor Chou is a pulmonary cancer precision medicine expert. This collaborative research incorporate TVGH-NYMU team’s expertise in the areas of genomics science and pulmonary cancer pathology and target the various different tumor characteristics found in patients by carrying out tumor immunology, cancer stem cell analysis and precision medicine research.


Vice-President Yang explaining that the goal of the collaboration is an understanding of the differences in cancer-related genes between Asian and Western patients in order to develop precision medicine treatments.


The National Cancer Institute is responsible for basic research and drug development in the area of cancer. It is the most important cancer research facility in the United States. This is the first US Cancer research laboratory establishment in Taiwan. In addition to Schrump’s personal visit to the TVGH-NYMU team, Mrs. Solarz and her friend Rang Glantz also visited Taiwan. President Kou gave his personal compliments to the United States National Cancer Institute for selecting the TVGH-NYMU team for this collaboration, and thanked the American Institute in Taiwan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education for their help with negotiations in which all these organizations played a huge role between Taiwan and the United States. It is hoped in the future that, with this collaboration, it should be possible to identify significant breakthroughs that will help lower the mortality rate of pulmonary cancer.


Professor Yang remarked that this collaboration will have an important impact on solving current problems related to the development of future treatments for pulmonary cancer. There are high expectations in both Taiwan and the United States that this is a win-win situation in terms of medical breakthroughs.