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Science Department Hosts Cancer Chemotherapy Forum

March 22,2014

To give BS-Biology students and the Scholastican community a firm grasp on relevant topics in biochemistry, the Science Department and Congregatio Pro Vita Scientia (CVS), through the initiative of chemistry professor, Mr. Nick Tan, co-organized the  biochemistry forum last February 20,2014 at the Social Hall.
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Chemistry professor Nick Tan introducing the speaker

Now on its fifth year, the special lecture series of the Science Department, with the special participation of the biochemistry class of the BS Biology students and Professor Tan, is a testament to the Science Department’s thrust in advancing and promoting science to the community. For this year’s edition, the department has invited chemistry professor, Mr. Laurenzo Alba of De La Salle University to discuss cancer chemotherapy and the economic and social impacts that it entails.

Mr. Alba opened his lecture with what cancer is, how we can get it, and some of the novel ways in treating it. Some treatments that he mentioned include the physical removal of cancer cells, the use of radiation to kill cancer cells, and the use of certain chemical compounds to specifically target infected cells. He discussed the molecular and biochemical basis of such treatments, and the pros and cons of using them.

He then went on to tackle how cancer patients, especially those that undergo chemotherapy, suffer because of financial constraints. The audience, composed of Dean Emy Ching (Dean of College), faculty members, biology majors and students taking up science subjects, were shocked at how much money is spent by a cancer patient just to be alive per year. Depending on the kind of treatment, figures range from 1 to 3 million pesos.

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Mr. Laurenzo Alba (fourth from left, seated) together with BS-Biology students and College Science Faculty

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From left to right: Rose Donadilla (President, CVS), Prof. Salve Dorado (Chair, Science Department), Prof. Nick Tan, and Mr. Laurenzo Alba

Mr. Alba ended his lecture by reminding everyone that prevention is still better than cure. He also added that we shouldn’t wait to get sick just to get the most out of our lives. The forum ended to the satisfaction of everyone in terms of new knowledge gained. 

By: Nick Tan