Taipei Medical University (TMU), funding the Taipei Cancer Center, is expected to complete construction before the end of 2020 to be in business for patients shortly thereafter. This new state-of-the-art cancer center in Taiwan will introduce proton therapy, a type of radiation therapy and has proven effective at treating prostate, brain, head, neck and lung tumors, as well as those that cannot be completely removed from surgery. This is the third such facility to offer this level of treatment in Taiwan—the first two being the Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and its sister hospital in Kaohsiung. Taiwan has an active clinical trials infrastructure.
Collaboration with Western Research Centers
The Taipei Cancer Center has inked research collaborative agreements with Johns Hopkins University, the Mayo Clinic, Case Western Reserve University, the City of Hope Medical Center, and the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center to devise better methods of tackling illness.
Taipei Cancer Center
Chiou-Jeng-Fong heads the new center reported on the benefits of the new proton treatment technology.
Taiwan Cancer Dynamics: Lung Cancer Crisis
With nearly 25 million, Taiwan, it is reported, has the 15th highest incidence of lung cancer. With an average of 22.5 per 100,000 people worldwide, Taiwan’s average is 36.2 per 100,000 second in Asia only to North Korea. About 10,000 people die in Taiwan from lung cancer each year.
Clinical Trials in Taiwan
Currently, there are about 134 hospitals in Taiwan that are certified for clinical trials, according to a report several years ago from Meir-Chyun, Tzou, PhD, Director, Division of Medicinal Products, Taiwan Food and Drug Administration, Minister of Health and Welfare.
Key Clinical Research Sites in Taiwan
Tzou reported total qualified clinical trial sites for INDs totaled 134. By 2013, they had 8 centers of excellence for clinical research in oncology. See the source for a map of the country with regions and corresponding clinical trial sites.
Competition from the Mainland
Traditionally, Taiwan did very well as a biomedical research hub in Asia due to a confluence of forces, including solid infrastructure, well-run hospitals and highly trained medical professionals and good government policy. Over the past couple decades and especially in the last several years with explosive growth of China’s biomedical research industry, Taiwan now is losing ground to the Mainland. With 1.4 billion, the Mainland is the desired target for the largest drug companies given market size and potential—growing middle class, etc. Imagine if the two actually got together and collaborated in heretofore new ways—letting go of past differences for an even stronger Chinese research region.