Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Sunday, Feb 25, 2024

University of Hong Kong’s new liver cancer treatment strategy gives patients hope

University of Hong Kong’s new liver cancer treatment strategy gives patients hope

New approach combines three common liver cancer treatments, says Clinical Professor Albert Chan.

A new way of treating liver cancer patients can increase their two-year survival rate by at least 20 per cent, Hong Kong researchers have said.

According to a study by the University of Hong Kong (HKU), a combination of three conventional treatments was successful in shrinking the tumours of half of 33 patients suffering from intermediate or late-stage liver cancer, allowing for the growths to be removed.

“What is unique about this approach is that we are actually incorporating three modalities into this combination treatment strategy,” Clinical Professor Albert Chan Chi-yan on Wednesday said. “By doing that we can raise the efficacy from 10 per cent of complete cancer clearance to up to 50 per cent.”

Chan added that in the past, only 30 per cent of liver cancer patients were suitable for tumour removal surgeries. Others would receive only one of the three types of treatment, but only 10 per cent of them could be completely cured.


Attending a press conference on a new liver cancer treatment are (from left) Chiang Chi-leung, Albert Chan and patient Wan Ying-keung.

“We were not happy about this result and tried to improve it. We tried to turn this miracle into a frequent occurrence,” he said.

The study has been published in the British medical journal The Lancet.

The patients, who initially had tumours ranging in size from 5cm (1.9 inches) to 17.5cm, received the treatments between March 2019 and January 2021. They were initially not eligible to have the growth removed for reasons such as its size or position.

After the treatments, the tumours of 31 patients shrank, with 22 of them seeing the growths reduced in size by 30 per cent.

Eighteen patients became suitable for tumour removal and four of them underwent the operation.

More than 90 per cent of the 18 survived two years after the treatment, with the average exceeding 30 months, compared to 50 per cent to 70 per cent of those who did not receive the new treatment.

Patients would first receive transarterial chemoembolisation (TACE), which would kill part of the cancerous cells, followed by stereotactic body radiation (SBRT) therapy to terminate more compromised cells and activate the immune system, and lastly immunotherapy to stimulate the production of white blood cells to fight the cancer.

Chan said his team hoped to expand the approach to all private and public hospitals in the long term.

“We are seeing about 1,800 new cases per year in Hong Kong,” he said. “We are talking about over 1,000 patients who are not eligible for surgeries. Out of these 1,000 patients, we anticipate that about half of [them] will be eligible for this treatment.”

Chan expected between 400 and 600 cancer patients a year could benefit from this approach and 200 to 300 of them could be completely cured.

Clinical Assistant Professor Dr Chiang Chi-leung said phase two of the study had been launched using another type of immunotherapy with a higher efficacy rate and 17 patients had been recruited so far.

Retiree Wan Ying-keung, 68, was diagnosed with liver cancer in early 2020 but was not suitable for surgery because the tumour was too large and close to blood vessels.

The combined treatment shrank his tumour, making the removal operation unnecessary.

“This is so remarkable and I was very happy,” he said. “I had an appointment with the doctor yesterday, and he said the tumour had almost gone completely, and of course long-term monitoring is needed, but I am very grateful.”

Only patients who are not eligible for removal surgery with growths at least 5cm can qualify for the combined treatment. The tumour must not have spread to other organs or invaded major blood vessels.

The new treatment plan is now available at Queen Mary Hospital. As the TACE and SBRT are fully subsidised by the government at public hospitals, patients would only need to pay about HK$200,000 US$ (US$25,610) for six months of immunotherapy.

Newsletter

Related Articles

Hong Kong News
0:00
0:00
Close
It's always the people with the dirty hands pointing their fingers
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
'I am not your servant': IndiGo crew member, passenger get into row over airline meal
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
BMW driver…
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
×