TAKEDA Healthcare Philippines, Inc., a subsidiary of global pharmaceutical company Takeda, is donating P400,000 to a blood cancer screening program that starts this August.

Sixty beneficiaries will be tested for free for cluster differentiator (CD) markers to determine if they have lymphoma, the most common type of blood cancer.

CD markers are useful for monitoring infection and detecting the abnormal growth of cells. Choosing the best lymphoma treatment depends on knowing the specific marker a patient has.

The CD30 Testing for Lymphoma Awareness and Prevention Program (or CLAP) is a partnership between PHAPCares Foundation, the social responsibility arm of the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines, and the Philippine General Hospital-PGH Medical Foundation.

“We are committed to outsmarting cancer so that more patients can benefit from — and have access to — life-transforming medicines,” said Loreann E. Villanueva, country manager of Takeda Philippines, in a press release. “Through our cancer research and development, we are building up on our deep understanding of cancer to develop new ways to approach the disease.”

Takeda Philippines also announced in June that it gave a P1,000,000 grant to the Cancer Care Registry and Research Philippines Foundation for cancer research.

“In all our efforts, we seek not only to increase awareness about lymphoma, but also to heed the call of the government to implement the spirit of the National Integrated Cancer Control Act and for the medical, patient and healthcare community, to come together to work towards a cancer-free Philippines,” Ms. Villanueva said.

There were over 4,000 new patients diagnosed with lymphoma in the Philippines in 2020.

In a previous Zoom call with BusinessWorld, PGH director Dr. Gerardo “Gap” D. Legaspi talked about the difficulty of detecting cancers in the early stages. “What we get are the late ones,” he said. “That’s why the service we need to put out is more than those in private hospitals, because they get theirs early. That’s what burdens us.” — Patricia B. Mirasol