The Sarah-Grace Sarcoma Organisation Singapore (SGSOSG) announced today the launch of its inaugural Kick Sarcoma Week to increase awareness in Singapore of this highly aggressive yet under-funded and under-researched cancer afflicting many children, and to raise funds for sarcoma research to find a cure for sarcoma patients.

To underscore the urgent need for high-level research into this lethal form of cancer, the event will guest-star Sophia the Humanoid Robot to showcase how artificial intelligence (AI) will play a significant role in the research and development for finding a cure for sarcoma.

“Sarcoma is the deadliest form of cancer, with a mortality rate of over 50 percent within five years and a propensity to affect children, yet it receives the least amount of study and is poorly understood due to a lack of high-level research. Through our efforts, we hope to increase survival rates and make sarcoma a curable disease, and alleviate its burden on our community,” said Dr Grace Moshi, the Director and Founder of the Sarah-Grace Sarcoma Organisation Singapore and the Sarah-Grace Sarcoma Foundation in Australia.

In 2018/2019, funds raised in Singapore will be used here to:

  • Save or prolong the lives of children with sarcoma and other paediatric cancers at the National University Hospital by providing support in order to access novel immunotherapies that stimulate their own natural killer cells to kill cancer cells.
  • Fund the collaborative effort between John Curtin School of Medical Research (JCSMR) Australia and KK Women and Children’s Hospital Sarcoma Research, in testing the new cancer killing compounds, for future novel sarcoma therapies. These compounds were discovered by the Sarah-Grace Sarcoma Foundation (Australia) PHD award Programme. 

Sarcoma is a general term describing a group of devastating malignant cancers that arises from connective tissue cells such as bone, cartilage, nerves, muscle and fat cells. Because these tissues are found everywhere on the body, sarcomas can arise anywhere and are frequently hidden deep in the limbs, which is where majority of the body’s connective tissue is, with the tendency to be discovered late due to vague symptoms.

Sarcomas account for up to 20 percent of childhood cancer diagnoses and about 1 percent of adult cancer diagnoses. There are approximately 130,000 new cases of sarcoma worldwide each year. However, because patient numbers are low compared to the prolific standards of the most common cancers such as breast and prostate cancers, sarcoma has trouble attracting research funding from governments.

“Due to lack of high level research, the high mortality rates for sarcoma have not changed for the last decade. Lack of recognition of this lethal cancer has led us to term it the forgotten cancer of ourday. It is therefore more important than ever for all of us to join forces to fight this deadly disease,”said Dr Moshi.

KICK SARCOMA WEEK CHARITY EVENT – Saturday 20 October, 2018

Kick Sarcoma Week will be officially launched at SGSOSG’s annual fund-raising dinner, which will be held this year at the St. Regis Singapore on Saturday, 20 October 2018 from 7.00 pm. Mr. Bruce Gosper, Australian High Commissioner to Singapore, will be the Guest of Honour at this event.

Sophia the humanoid robot will appear as a special guest star in honour of the launch of Kick Sarcoma Week. The highly-advanced creation of Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics, Sophia will speak at the black-tie event on how AI and sarcoma research works hand in hand to find a cure for the disease.

Sophia will also be making an appearance on the same Saturday between 10 am and 12 noon at the St. Regis Singapore to meet and greet children from KK Women and Children’s Hospital who have sarcomas.

Sophia was built to get smarter over time, and uses AI, visual data processing as well as facial and voice recognition to communicate with people. Designed to be a platform for artificial general intelligence (AGI) and service robotics applications in business, medical/healthcare, and education, Sophia became famous as the first robot to have a nationality after being given Saudi Arabian citizenship.

Header image from Shutterstock, child in hospital.