1 December 2020
2 April 2013
Inaugural Lecture of Li Shu Fan Medical Foundation Professorship in Clinical Oncology by Professor Anthony Chan
'An Unexpected Journey'

Prof. Anthony Chan Tak-cheung, Professor of Clinical Oncology and Chairman, Department of Clinical Oncology, Faculty of Medicine at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), delivered his inaugural lecture as Li Shu Fan Professor of Clinical Oncology titled 'An Unexpected Journey' on 28 March. 

Nasopharynx cancer (NPC) is uniquely prevalent in Southern China including Hong Kong.  Radiotherapy (RT) controls local disease but 30%-50% of patients fail with distant metastases. Prof. Anthony Chan's journey to define the modern integrated multi-modality treatment approach to the management of NPC began in 1994 with the first multi-centre prospective randomized trial in locoregionally advanced disease. His team was the first to demonstrate that concurrent cisplatin-RT (CRT) improved survival rates in endemic NPC, the first to demonstrate intensity modulated RT can improve local control with better preservation of salivary function, first to demonstrate that neoadjuvant chemotherapy in addition to CRT further improved treatment outcome, first to define the prognostic significance of post-treatment Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) DNA, first to utilize this biomarker to risk-stratify patients for adjuvant therapy, first to demonstrate the effectiveness of anti-epidermal growth factor receptor and anti-angiogenesis therapies in metastatic and also in locoregionally advanced disease, first to translate epigenetic therapy into NPC patients and first to deliver a Modified Vaccinia Ankara vaccine encoding EBV antigens to treat NPC patients. 

The results in Professor Chan's research journey have benefited patients with improved survival rates and reduced toxicities. With biomarker-driven clinical trial designs, the era of personalized approach to NPC treatment has begun. The generous donation of The Li Shu Fan Medical Foundation will give a great boost to Professor Chan and his team to enhance the research in clinical oncology, thus contributing to the well-being of the people of Hong Kong and the wider world community. 

Prof. Joseph J.Y. Sung, Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK, remarked, 'We are very grateful for the staunch support of The Li Shu Fan Medical Foundation to enable us to make further advances in teaching and research. The Li Shu Fan Medical Foundation was established in 1963, the same year when the Chinese University established. Today's inaugural lecture is indeed a joint celebration of our golden jubilee.' 

Prof. Anthony Chan graduated from University College London in 1988 and received postgraduate training in the United Kingdom including the Royal Marsden Hospital where he developed a keen interest in multi-disciplinary clinical and translational research in solid cancers. He joined CUHK in 1993 as Lecturer, becoming Department Chairman in 2002 and Professor of Clinical Oncology in 2006. He has been appointed Director of the Hong Kong Cancer Institute since 2002, Director of the Sir YK Pao Centre for Cancer since 2003, Associate Director of the State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China since 2006 and Associate Dean for External Affairs since 2009. In 2008, Professor Chan was awarded the Sir David Todd lecture in 2008 by the Hong Kong College of Physicians and has been Council Member of the College since 2002. Under his leadership the Specialty of Medical Oncology has grown significantly in the past decade and the multi-disciplinary model of care is now well established. 

Professor Chan's research has focused on clinical and translational studies in Asia-prevalent cancers particularly in nasopharynx cancer. He has been awarded over 100 million in external funding as Principal Investigator, published over 230 peer-reviewed papers, 40 book chapters and reviews, and delivered over 130 international lectures. Professor Chan has served on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Clinical Oncology and is currently on the Editorial Boards of International Journal of Cancer, Cancer Science, Oral Oncology, Chinese Journal of Cancer and the International Advisory Board of Lancet Oncology. Apart from numerous leadership roles in local professional bodies, he also holds positions in international organizations including the International Committee of the American Association for Cancer Research and the International Education Council of the Molecular Targeted Therapy of Cancer. 

About Li Shu Fan Medical Foundation Professorship in Clinical Oncology 

The Li Shu Fan Medical Foundation established the Li Shu Fan Medical Foundation Professorship in Clinical Oncology at the CUHK Faculty of Medicine in February 2013 in support of academic research in clinical oncology over a period of ten years, and in memory of the late Dr. Li Shu Fan. The first incumbent of the Professorship is Prof. Anthony Chan Tak-cheung from the Department of Clinical Oncology, a distinguished academic and leader in this specialty in Hong Kong. 

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Prof. Anthony Chan Tak-cheung, Li Shu Fan Professor of Clinical Oncology

(From left) Prof. Anthony Chan, Li Shu Fan Professor of Clinical Oncology, CUHK; Dr. Walton Li, Chairman, Li Shu Fan Medical Foundation; Prof. Joseph Sung, Vice-Chancellor, CUHK; and Prof. Francis Chan, Interim Dean of Medicine, CUHK.

Prof. Joseph Sung, Vice-Chancellor, CUHK (right) presents a certificate of appreciation to Dr. Walton Li, Chairman, Li Shu Fan Medical Foundation.

A group photo of CUHK members and representatives of Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital.

Prof. Anthony Chan delivers his inaugural lecture as Li Shu Fan Professor of Clinical Oncology.