Yayasan PETRONAS reaffirms commitment to Cancer Research Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, 4 September 2019 – Yayasan PETRONAS, the corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm of PETRONAS, has pledged RM8 million to Cancer Research Malaysia (CRM) to support cutting-edge research in hereditary cancers among Asians.

The funding will also enable CRM to expand its ground-breaking research and position Malaysia as a cancer research hub for Asia. 

Yayasan PETRONAS Chief Executive Officer Lita Osman said at a cheque presentation ceremony here today, that eventhough Asians make up for more than 50 per cent of the world’s population, Asians make up less than 10 per cent of cancer studies worldwide. 

“The work CRM is spearheading requires more investigation as it will significantly improve patients’ survival chances and treatment options. This partnership will also allow us to contribute to the well-being of Malaysians, who have one of the lowest survival rate for breast cancer in the Asia Pacific region,” she said.

Cancer Research Malaysia Chief Executive Officer Datin Paduka Professor Dr Teo Soo-Hwang said that World Health Organisation projected that 45 million Asians would be diagnosed with cancer in the next five years. 

“Research grants are important so that we can continue to break new grounds towards effectively reversing cancer. Thanks to the support from Yayasan PETRONAS, Malaysia is now in the global spotlight for cancer research, paving the way for CRM to be an engine that drives cancer research in Malaysia to international level,” she said.

She added that research shows that one in 20 Malaysians develop breast cancer by inheriting a specific gene, the BRCA 1/BRCA2 gene and CRM is leading the largest study of Asian women on the role of these rare genetic variants, as well as common genetic variants in risk to breast cancer.

“This information is now incorporated into the clinical guidelines for Malaysian doctors and is used in the development of cancer genetics services nationwide. Through this work, Malaysia is the first middle-income country to enable genetics services to be available widely, rather than just in specialist hospitals in major urban hospitals,’’ she added.

PETRONAS has been one of the leading corporate funders for CRM since 2001 when the partnership started. PETRONAS has contributed RM13.5 million to-date, towards CRM’s work in six internationally significant programmes, including in the areas of discovery, tool development and intervention of the disease. Yayasan PETRONAS continues with this commitment with the grant announced today.

PETRONAS has been active in promoting awareness of the disease including fund-raising through the annual Orchid Run & Ride (since 2015) and lighting up the PETRONAS Twin Towers in pink for breast cancer awareness in 2013. There were also cancer awareness talks for employees, donations to cancer support groups, and hosting the World Cancer Congress 2018 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

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About Cancer Research Malaysia (CRM)

Established in 2000, CRM is the country’s first and only independent and non-profit cancer research organisation. Funded entirely by donations and research grants, it conducts research in cancers often found in Asian population. It currently has a team of over 40 scientists working in collaboration with global teams in the fight against cancer. It is the first Malaysian organisation to win the prestigious Wellcome Trust Collaborative Science Award and the Medical Research Council Global Challenge Research Fund. For more information, please visit the website at www.cancerresearch.my

About Yayasan PETRONAS  

Yayasan PETRONAS is the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of PETRONAS. Its mission is to contribute to the well-being of society. Yayasan PETRONAS aims to deliver sustainable impact, improving the quality of life and socio-economic outcomes for communities across the nation through its focus areas in Education, Community Well-being and Development and the Environment. 

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For media enquiries, please contact:
Reshvinder Kaur: + 60 17-275 7985| resh.kaur@ceria.asia
Lim Wei Wen: +6012 3223476 | weiwen.lim@petronas.com