Newsletter No. 181

2 No. 181 4th April 2001 CUHK Newsletter Treat i ngLiverCancer w i t h Microwave Local Effect After Microwave Therapy Liver before (left) and after (right) therapy L iver cancer is the number two cancer killer in Hong Kong. Ninety per cent of the patients diagnosed wi th the disease cannot be treated wi th liver resection, the preferred treatment of the disease, due to unfavourable tumour location or poor liver function. For such patients, local ablative therapy may be most suitable, for it can eradicate the tumour without causing damage to the rest of the liver. The Faculty o f Medicine has pioneered the introduction of a new form of local ablative therapy 一 heat treatment, or microwave coagulation therapy, to treat liver cancer in Hong Kong. Making use of the fact that cancer cells disintegrate at 45 °C, electrodes are placed through the skin into the tumour to heat it up and destroy it. The therapy offers reliable and precise local ablation of liver cancer. It can be performed under local anaesthesia and requires only one to two treatment sessions. Treatment time is relatively short 一 about five minutes at each treatment spot. And apart from heat generation, microwave does not produce any physical effects within the human body. In a joint clinical research carried out in the Prince of Wales Hospital and the Chinese PLA General Hospital in Beijing, the five- year survival rate of 189 patients who have received such microwave treatment reaches 59 per cent. Hong Kong Cancer Inst i tute Hosts Internat ional Symposium O ver 200 delegates from 19 countries attended the Sixth Annual Scientific Symposium of the Hong Kong Cancer Institute held on 20th and 21st February 2001 at the Royal Plaza Hotel. Organized locally by the University's Departments of Clinical Oncology and Chemical Pathology, the meeting was held in conjunction with the Second International Symposium on Circulating Nucleic Acids in Plasma and Serum. Some of the important breakthroughs during the last f ew years were discussed at the sympos i ums, i n c l ud i ng the detection and characterization of tumour-derived DNA in the plasma of cancer patients, and the discovery of foetal DNA in maternal plasma and serum. Th is yea r 's Cheng Suen Man Shook Founda t i on lecture, presented du r i ng the conference, was delivered by Dr. James G. Herman, a leading expert in cancer epigenetics from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. It was entitled 'Cancer Epigenetics: Biology and Clinical Applications'. Dr. James G. Herman High Risk of Heart Disease for Obese Children A groundbreaking study by the University's Centre for Atherosclerosis Studies finds that obesity alone w i ll result in severe atherosclerosis risk even in young children. Obesity is one of the major risk factors of atherosclerosis and other chronic diseases like hypertension and diabetes mellitus. Between 1989 and 1998, the prevalence of obesity in Hong Kong has increased from 3.5 to 9 per cent, and the figure is increasing. In adult atherosclerosis, many contributing factors coexist and it is difficult to sort out the role of obesity versus hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and high lipids, but this might be easier in children where obesity is isolated. The research team studied 82 obese and 58 normal weight children aged 7 to 12, evaluating the endothelial function of upper arm arteries (a key marker of earlier atherogenesis) using high resolution ultrasound. They found that the endothelial function of obese children are impaired by 33 per cent compared to normal children. Such an abnormality is similar to that found in elderly subjects and individuals who have been smoking for over 10 years. The results of this study were presented at the 50th Annual Congress of the American College of Cardiology held in Orlando, USA, in March. The researchers have also arranged dietary modification and a regular exercise programme for the obese children to improve vascular function and prevent heart disease. ITSC Update Workshop on Web-based Teaching T he Information Technology Services Centre (ITSC) has organized visits to various faculties to provide teachers and their supporting staff with first-hand and updated information on web-based teaching and learning facilities (WBT) in the University. These workshops were held between November 2000 and February 2001, starting with the Faculty of Arts. Participants were first introduced to WBT, which was followed by an experience sharing session. They were also introduced to other available web-based teaching and learning services, and were provided with information about the future road map of the platform. Many questions were raised in the question-and-answer session. Through web-based teaching links such as CU Forum and WebCT of the WBT platform, communication between students and lecturers, teaching methods, and course management have been enhanced. Moreover, learning is enriched as students can now use on-line experiments, simulations, and quizzes through multimedia technology. ITSC would like to extend its gratitude to those teaching staff who have shared their experience in the workshops with the participants. They are: • Mr. George Jor (English Language Teaching Unit) from the Faculty of Arts, • Prof. Gordon Cheung (BBA Programmes) from the Faculty of Business Administration, • Mr. Paul Sze (Curriculum and Instruction) from the Faculty of Education, • Prof. Leung Man-sang (Physiology) from the Faculty of Medicine, • Prof. L i u Chun-wah (Economics), Prof. Benjamin Ostrov (Government and Public Administration), Prof. Louis Leung (Journalism and Communication), Prof. Twila Tradif (Psychology), and faculty office staff from the Faculty of Social Science. It was through their enthusiasm that participants understood how WBT could assist teaching staff in instruction, rather than replacing instructional design. Though WBT may not save preparation time, its greatest value lies in the flexibility of the instructional medium and enhanced communication beyond the classroom. In addition to these workshops, a WBT commun ity that focuses, on providin g an effective communication channel and nurturing a self-support culture for web-based teaching users in the University was established in October 2000. Through mutual experience sharing and discussion on topics of common interest, ITSC hopes that teachers in the University could continuously improve the quality of online instruction and use the tools provided more effectively. A l l academic staff are welcome to join this community. Registration can be made on-line at the WBT homepage ( . The success of WBT depends on both the devotion of teaching staff and their students' active participation in learning. ITSC w i ll continue to promote innovative WBT tools to enhance teaching and learning, and hopes to receive support and feedback from the University community. For more information, please visit More IT Training Programmes for Staff In April, ITSC wi ll continue to hold instructor-based and online courses for University staff. The instructor-based seminars cover techniques on web-page authoring and advanced features of Office 2000. Web-page authoring seminars include: -Web-Page Authoring Techniques Using HTML -Design Simple Web Graphics Using Photoshop 一 Intermediate Office applications include: -Office Skill Essentials—Access 2000 -Word 2000 New Features Highlight The web publishing series emphasizes the use of Photoshop to create simple web graphics. The intermediate course shows you how to create special image effects by using layers and filters, and also how to create transparent GIFs and animated GIFs. Moreover, the basic techniques of HTML authoring will be addressed. In the Office 2000 series, the new look of Office 2000 will be introduced. This seminar can save you lots of time when adapting to the new version of Office so that you do not have to consult manuals t o understand features for ta bles, graphics, web pages, and multilingual support. The access seminar shows you how to plan and design databases, how to build forms, and how to produce reports to automate your daily work. In addition, the basic and advanc ed learning WebCT 2.1 courses ar e continuing on-line. You can learn how to use this tool at your own pace. In order to evaluate the training programmes, ITSC would like to solicit your opinion on them. Please e-mail to t o explain what you would like ITSC to offer and/or specify the courses that you have failed to register for due to full attendance. This information will help ITSC to offer more courses to meet your needs. For registration and information, please visit