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Prof. Dora Kwong is currently Clinical Professor and Head of Department of Clinical Oncology. Prof. Kwong graduated from the University of Hong Kong in 1988 and became Fellow of the Royal College of Radiologists in 1993 and Fellow of Hong Kong College of Radiologists and Fellow of Hong Kong Academy of Medicine in 1996. She obtained her Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Hong Kong in 2006.
Her research interests include head and neck cancer with an emphasis on nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), upper GI cancers including CA esophagus and CA stomach and paediatric cancers. She is involved in multiciplinary management employing both medical treatment and radiotherapy. She is also interested in basic research in carcinogenesis and translational research in identifying prognostic and predictor biomarkers.
For nasopharyngeal carcinoma, her randomised factorial study on concurrent and adjuvant chemotherapy in NPC is one of the studies included in metaanalysis of NPC which confirmed the importance of concurrent chemoradiotherapy in improving survival of NPC. She pioneered the use of intensity modulation radiotherapy (IMRT) in treatment of NPC in Hong Kong showing the advantage of IMRT in preserving salivary function, improving quality of life in early NPC and allowing dose escalation and improved local control in locally advanced NPC. Both concurrent chemoradiotherapy and IMRT have now been adopted as standard of care in treatment of NPC. Currently we are investigating the role of functional imaging like PET scan in predicting for early disease response and incorporating biological target volume in IMRT in order to adapt radiotherapy to individual disease response during treatment. In laboratory research, we studied the function of a number of novel tumor suppressor genes and found that hypermethylation is an important mechanism in inactivation of tumor suppressor genes.
The predominent histology of CA esophagus in Hong Kong is squamous cell carcinoma which is different from the adenocarcinoma which is more commonly seen in the West. We studied the genetic basis of carcinogenesis of squamous cell carcinoma of esophagus. We showed that chromosomal inbalance is common in CA esophagus and identify a number of areas which would habor novel oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes. We identify and characterize a novel tumor suppressor gene UPK1A in CA esophagus and found miRNA to be important in carcinogenesis. In clinical case management, we worked closely with the surgeons in multidisciplinary and multimodality treatment. Most cases are treated with pre-operative chemoradiation and then surgery. We aim to identify biomarkers which will predict response to pre-operative chemoradiotherapy.
Prof. Kwong also has a long standing interest in studying radiation complications like hearing loss, temporal lobe necrosis and xerostomia after radiotherapy and the ways to reduce such complications. We study advanced radiotherapy techniques like intensity modulated radiotherapy, adaptive radiotherapy and stereotactic body radiotherapy and promote their use of in clinical practice.