Dedication to Lifetime Service to Hong Kong
Cancer takes away a patient’s health, and also brings enormous pressure and frustration to a patient’s family. In the movie called “Dying to Survive,” a new drug for leukaemia brings hopes to patients. In the real world, Professor Raymond Liang, Honorary Clinical Professor of Division of Haematology and Oncology, The University of Hong Kong, made significant contributions to the development of a targeted therapy for leukaemia. Hong Kong is a place that he loves, and for this reason he commits himself to help patients in Hong Kong. He even attempted to connect patients and doctors by putting together the real stories in his life of medicine into a book using simple language easily understandable to the public.
Clinical Services, Education and Research are Complementary
Professor Liang started to admire the medical profession when he was still a child, and thus he decided to devote himself to a career of disease-curing and life-saving and chose haematological oncology as his specialty. With long experience in clinical services, he wishes to contribute more to medicine in Hong Kong and therefore spends enormous time on educating medical students and clinical research works. “Clinical services, education and research are complementary. Clinical services require application of the best methods proven through research, and offer practical cases for sharing with students. Education requires the use of new knowledge and experience concluded from clinical services and research. Research must be based on clinical evidence and results should be passed on to the younger generations.” Professor Liang suggested: “Nowadays medicine advances rapidly. Frontline doctors have to know the best treatments available to patients, and should understand that taking part in clinical research is their responsibility.”
Clinical Research Improves Treatments
Professor Liang has never given up on encouraging patients to participate in clinical studies and to flight for their lives – even they are in terminal stage of diseases. “Through clinical trials, patients can participate in testing the latest treatments. Because of the need for safety monitoring and data collection, they will receive regular examinations and follow-up. Healthcare practitioners will also provide comprehensive medical care to participants as their wellbeing is always our first priority!” He also illustrated the significance of clinical research by the relationship between leukaemia and hepatitis B. Currently 1/10 of the Hong Kong population are hepatitis B carriers. Leukaemia patients who are also hepatitis B virus carriers may develop severe hepatitis after chemotherapy and bone marrow transplantation. “Doctors who acquired new clinical knowledge can treat patients with new drugs to prevent progression of hepatitis. This treatment method was first developed in Hong Kong, and now is affecting leukaemia treatment around the world. Overseas doctors also came to Hong Kong to learn our method.”
HKU-CTC Helps Facilitate Scientific Research
During the past 20 years, The University of Hong Kong Clinical Trials Centre dedicated to assist clinical doctors to perform clinical studies. Professor Liang is very grateful for the centre’s supports and assistance – that helped improve patients’ survival and quality of life. “Before establishment of the centre, we had to deal with all the paperwork and legal issues ourselves. Now the centre reminds and provides guidance to us and assists us in dealing with all supporting matters, and we are able to focus on performing research.” In line with the society’s advancement and the global trends, the standards for research are getting more stringent. The centre will definitely move on together with healthcare practitioners to facilitate the development of clinical research in Hong Kong and help Hong Kong to stay as a frontier in clinical research worldwide.
“The best thing for a doctor is prolonging patients’ lives and improving their health.” Professor Liang helps patients to fight cancer and brings hopes to them. Through treating and understanding Hong Kong patients, doctors are also curing their souls. Bringing hopes to people is the best way to maintain the vitality of Hong Kong.