The cancer killer

Painful, debilitating and potentially dangerous: treating cancer metastases in the lungs through conventional methods is fraught with challenges. A new treatment, however, promises to revolutionise the process by using a remote, robotically controlled system to deliver a catheter into delicate areas of the lungs, where it can destroy the cancer cells precisely and effectively using microwave energy. Entirely non-invasive and in most cases pain-free, the system has delivered impressive results in early trials, successfully treating several patients with multiple lung metastases.

Beating back blindness

In today’s digital age, children spend most of the time glued to their devices, so the risk of them developing myopia is skyrocketing. Once the condition has kicked in, there’s no way of reversing it – and it can lead to all sorts of more serious eye problems. A new CUHK study demonstrates that giving children eyedrops featuring low concentrations of common anti-myopia medication atropine can prevent the condition from developing in the first place.

Guts and glory

Maybe you are one of the victims of a debilitating gastrointestinal disease, like gastric acid reflux or pathogen H pylori. When you are suffering from those diseases, you might wonder how bacteria which causes peptic ulcers can survive the acidic environment in your stomach? Besides risky invasive surgeries treating gastric acid reflux, is there an easier way getting rid of heartburn? You may be inspired by two recent CUHK breakthroughs.

Taking a bite out of shrimp allergy

Shrimp is one of the most common food allergies in the world, and severe allergic reactions can be life-threatening. But there’s some good news: researchers from CUHK have successfully identified 11 allergens in shrimp, which could help diagnose allergies more accurately. It means that in the future, when someone suspects they’re allergic to shrimp, a component-based specific IgE antibody test could be able to help them.

Fighting allergies: CUHK unravels the genome profile of the American cockroach

If you were to ask people which pest they hate the most, many would answer “cockroaches”, not only because of their unpleasant appearance but also because they can trigger allergic reactions such as asthma. Fortunately, a CUHK’s Faculty of Medicine team is producing the world’s most comprehensive genome profile of the American cockroach, aiding future diagnosis of cockroach allergy.

Retinal images can help early detection of Alzheimer’s disease

We all love to take photos, whether it’s to capture a special moment or to immortalise some beautiful scenery. Taking photos can also have far more serious purposes, though: for example, photos of your eyes can be used to detect Alzheimer’s disease. CUHK’s Faculty of Medicine has developed the world’s first AI model that can detect the disease solely through so-called fundus photographs: images of the retina.


Mites evolution discovery promises intervention in dangerous allergies

The bed you lie in, the food you eat - mites are everywhere. For people with mite allergy, they are devils causing itchy skins, shortness of breath, or even triggering severe diseases. Fortunately, a CUHK team has observed the unusual phenomenon on the evolution of astigmatic mites, laying the genomic groundwork for diagnosing and intervening in some dangerous human mite allergies.

Racing against mutation: COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness predicted in real time

The COVID-19 virus is mutating rapidly. As subvariants like BA.4 and BA.5 emerge, we must act fast to curb the pandemic. Vaccination is the most effective way to control epidemic, but the protection it offers declines as the virus evolves. Predicting vaccine effectiveness in a short time frame is key to winning this battle. CUHK researchers have developed a bioinformatics platform that can provide a snapshot of vaccine effectiveness in real time, instead of it taking months.

Non-invasive imaging detects early-stage “silent killer” liver fibrosis

An unhealthy diet, lack of exercise and staying up late are common habits that can damage our livers. The liver is known as a silent organ: symptoms of liver failure do not typically show up until they develop into severe fibrosis, cirrhosis or even cancer. A team from CUHK is developing a non-invasive imaging method to detect biochemical symptoms associated with early-stage liver fibrosis, increasing the chances of successful treatment.

The Discovery of an Oncogene in Gastric Cancer Overturns Previous Reports

Cancer is a group of diseases that we are taking kinds of strategies to overcome at the moment. Our bodies are made up of countless cells, and cancer cells are the result of mutations of normal ones. Although its causes are not yet fully understood, studying the mechanisms of cancer cell proliferation allows us to understand cancer better and create new treatments. A team from CU Medicine has just identified a novel oncogene in gastric cancer, giving rise to the development of a new anti-cancer therapy.

COVID mRNA Booster Key to Protecting High-risk Populations

CU Medicine has conducted what is, to date, the largest sample (about 100 million subjects), worldwide study of 24 combinations of COVID-19 vaccines covering seven vaccine types. It shows that, whilst three doses of an mRNA vaccine greatly reduce COVID-19 infection risks in immunocompromised and elderly patients compared to only two doses of vaccines of any kind, an mRNA booster to two doses of any other vaccine protects them against non-severe COVID-19 infections. Very importantly, say the findings, a third dose of mRNA vaccine is necessary to protect against Omicron infection.

Dry Eye Disease: A Long COVID Symptom You Should Watch Out For

Experiencing dry, itchy eyes and blurred vision and thinking it is just because of prolonged exposure to digital screens? These symptoms could also be COVID-19 sequelae that you should be aware of. An ophthalmology team from CUHK has found that post-COVID-19 patients have a higher risk of developing dry eye disease, and that one in five people who have had COVID-19 suffer from at least one symptom related to dry eye disease.