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Professor in Geriatric Oncology

Associate Professor Ravindran Kanesvaran

Professor in Geriatric Oncology, December 2023 – Current

SingHealth Duke-NUS Oncology Academic Clinical Programme

Chairman, Division of Medical Oncology, National Cancer Centre Singapore

Senior Consultant, Division of Medical Oncology, National Cancer Centre Singapore

Chair, Office of Population Health, National Cancer Centre Singapore

Cancer is a disease of ageing. Older adults with cancer unfortunately suffer from more medical and social problems compared to their younger counterparts. About 3 decades ago, oncologists who recognised this difference started doing geriatric assessments in older cancer patients. This paradigm shift led to the development of Geriatric Oncology (GO) to address the needs of older cancer patients.

The Professorship in Geriatric Oncology was established to attract world-class faculty to spearhead the advancement of GO. The appointment of Associate Professor Kanesvaran for this Distinguished Professorship recognises his achievement in academic medicine and the crucial role that he will play in promoting research collaborations as well as mentoring the next generation of specialists in GO. 

Advancing the field of Geriatric Oncology (GO) in the SingHealth Duke-NUS AMC

Associate Professor Kanesvaran has a passion for providing holistic care for older patients with cancer and he went on to pursue an HMDP fellowship in GO in the US. He currently leads the first GO clinical and research service in Singapore and Southeast Asia. The GO set up at the SingHealth Duke-NUS Oncology Academic Clinical Programme (ONCO ACP), is a multidisciplinary service involving physicians, nursing and allied health professionals, who meet regularly to discuss and recommend treatments that are personalised to the individual. Associate Professor Kanesvaran has led several global initiatives in the field of GO as a Board Member and the first President of the International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG) from Asia, from 2020 to 2022. These initiatives include conducting geriatric oncology education, research and public policy activities across the globe. His goal is to train all oncology professionals to appreciate older adults with cancer as a unique group of patients with personalised needs.

Changing the face of Oncology in Asia through Collaborations

Associate Professor Kanesvaran is a global leader in medical oncology. He was the President of the Singapore Society of Oncology from 2013 to 2018, during which time he collaborated with the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) to set the annual ESMO Asia meeting in Singapore in 2015. A strong advocate for public policy initiatives to improve access and quality of medical oncology in Asia, Associate Professor Kanesvaran brought many educational, leadership training and research collaborations to Asia and helped shape policy in many developing countries in the region as well. He is the first Asian to be awarded the Fellow of ESMO (FESMO) Award in 2023, the SingHealth Excellent Service Quality Award multiple times and the Outstanding Clinician Award for the GCEO Award in 2021. Associate Professor Kanesvaran is clearly aware that all his achievements would not be possible without immense help from his family, colleagues, friends, and collaborators. Quoting from a good friend and one of the GO Giants, the late Professor Arti Hurria's personal motto taken from a proverb, "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together".