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Rebecca Dent


Republic of Singapore

National Cancer Center Singapore

Professor Rebecca Dent MD MSc is a career-long clinical and translational researcher as well as education-focused, academic clinician with sub-specialist interest in all aspects of triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) and young women with breast cancer.

Prof Dent achieved her MD from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and then completed her internal medicine and medical oncology residency at the Princess Margaret Hospital and the Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Center in Toronto, Canada. This was followed by a fellowship in breast cancer, supported by a Marion Walker Women’s Health Scholarship, and MSc in Clinical Epidemiology and Statistics at the University of Toronto. During her training Prof Dent was fortunate to have completed electives across Canada, the US (Memorial Sloan Kettering), France (Institut Marie Curie) and the Philippines (Philippine General Hospital).

In her North American academic career, Prof Dent served as Chair of the locally advanced breast cancer program and Head, Breast Cancer Clinical Trials Unit at the Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Center from 2008-2011. Her seminal publication whilst in Toronto was a Clinical Cancer Research publication, one of the first to describe what is now known as triple negative with almost 5,000 citations for this individual paper (Dent R et al. Clin Ca Res 2007). She was the PI of one of the first Phase I PARP inhibitor trials in unselected TNBC in combination with taxane chemotherapy and she served as a reviewer for the National Cancer Institute of Canada (NCIC) grants committee. As a consultant at the Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Center, she supervised a number of residents and fellows and was awarded an Outstanding Teaching Award by the University of Toronto.

Prof Dent has participated in the ASCO Leadership Development Program and served on a number of ASCO Committees: Education including Chair, Breast Track and Member of the Breast Scientific Committee (ER/HER2 track), as well as on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO).

In February 2011, Prof Dent moved to Singapore where she is now senior consultant at the National Cancer Center in Singapore (NCCS). Recognizing the need for pan-Asian regional educational interaction Prof Dent  co-founded and co-chaired nine Asia Pacific Breast Cancer Summits (https://apbcs.org). Consequently Prof Dent was involved in the establishment of the ESMO Asia meeting subsequently serving as Scientific Chair and Co-Chair Breast Track. Prof Dent has co-chaired the ESMO Breast Preceptorship in Singapore since 2017 and sits on the pan-Asian ESMO adapted guidelines committee as well as the Advanced Breast Cancer ESMO guideline committee. Prof Dent serves as a scientific committee member of the ASCO Breakthrough Asia Meeting.

Prof Rebecca Dent has over 15,000 citations  and an  h-index of 49. She sits on the Editorial Board of The Lancet Oncology. She has been invited as an oral and plenary discussant at ESMO as well as an invited speaker at numerous meetings for ASCO, ESMO Asia, and other meetings across Asia such as the Japanese Society of Medical Oncology and Korean Society of Medical Oncology. Prof Dent is a steering committee member and PI for a number of large international trials evaluating novel agents in the treatment of TNBC. Funding was secured for a novel investigator initiated global study evaluating the role of PARP inhibition with or without immune checkpoint inhibition in platinum sensitive TNBC which has just completed recruitment in the US, Korea and in Singapore (The DORA study). This is a pivotal Duke NUS Singapore and Duke USA collaboration.

As of October 2018, Prof Dent has been Head of the department of Medical Oncology at the National Cancer Center Singapore (NCCS) at SingHealth. NCCS has recently been designated as a comprehensive cancer center and Prof Dent was appointed Chairman of the Division of Medical Oncology in 2021.

Prof Dent maintains a busy clinical practice, as well as teaching medical students at Duke-NUS. This has been recognized with a star award for Quality National Service and the SingHealth Outstanding Clinician Award.

Regardless of which continent, Prof Dent remains passionate about her clinical work and devoted to her patients who provide an endless source of inspiration. She is most proud of her ESMO Women in Oncology Award in 2021.

Last update: September 2022

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