Haematology & Oncology

The Team

Clinical Services

The Division of Haematology/Oncology was set up by Prof. Patrick Yuen in 1980s after the opening of Prince of Wales Hospital. The first paediatric bone marrow transplantation in Hong Kong was performed in February 1991. The Lady Pao Children’s Cancer Centre was formally opened in 1995. At this moment, the Centre is the largest paediatric oncology unit in Hong Kong with 24 in-patient beds including ten HEPA filtered single isolation rooms, and a Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit with four Laminar-air-flow bone marrow transplantation beds. A ten bed Day Unit was attached to the inpatient ward, and a designated outpatient clinic is available for immunocompromised patients in the Cancer Centre. Paediatric cancer and severe haematological disease such as aplastic anaemia are treated within the Children’s Cancer Centre by multidisciplinary teams. Non-malignant haematology patients such as thalassaemia, ITP and haemophilia are managed in the general paediatric wards with the support of the haematology team.



The team is active in clinical and laboratory research in malignant and non-malignant conditions:

  • Coordinating centre for Hong Kong paediatric oncology units in international (IBFM Study Group) and national clinical trials on Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia

  • Minimal Residual Disease study in leukaemia

  • New methods of Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: double unit cord blood transplant and haploidentical stem cell transplantation

  • Sponsored clinical trial on new iron oral chelator (deferasirox), bone mineral density and MRI assessment of iron overload in heart and liver

  • International collaborative study on pathogenesis of Hb F induction, local herbal study on stimulation of Hb F

  • Stem cell research with special interest on cord blood biology

  • Long term follow up of cancer survivors


Selected Research Grants

  1. Genetic modulation of Hb F in thalassemia. National Institute of Health, USA. Sept 2005 to Aug 2010. (Institution PI: CK LI) ($417,000)

  2. A One-Year, Open-Label, Single Arm, Multi-Center Trial Evaluating the Efficacy and Safety of Oral ICL670 (20mg/kg/day) in Patients Diagnosed with Transfusion-dependent Iron Overload. (sponsored by Novartis) (Institution PI: CK LI) ($2.1M)

  3. Study of Minimal Residual Disease in Hong Kong Chinese Children with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. Research Grant Council, Hong Kong. Jan 2007 to Dec 2009. ($1.3M) Co-I: C K Li.

  4. A Multicentre study of Treatment Protocol for Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in China 2008: Minimal Residual Disease monitoring. (PI: CK Li) Children’s Cancer Foundation, May 2008 to Nov 2012. ($3.56M)

  5. A survey of health status of childhood cancer survivors. Health and Health Services Research Grant. Jan 2009 – Dec 2010. (Co-I: CK Li)($514,000)

  6. Pilot Study of Efficacy and safety of Chinese Herbal Medicine Gualou (fructus trichosanthis) in Treating beta-thalassaemia Intermedia Patients. (PI: CK Li) Children’s Thalassaemia Foundation. 2009. ($167,000)

  7. A cross-sectional, multi-center, epidemiological study inWestern and Asian countries in children and adolescentswith Chronic Hepatitis B. (Novartis sponsored study) (institution PI: CK Li) September 2009.

  8. Study of Bone Mineral Density in thalassaemia Major patients. Children’s Thalassaemia  Foundation (SCMP Operation Santa Clause) 2010. $400,000.


Selected Publications


  1. Mann G, Attarbaschi A, Schrappe M, De Lorenzo P, Peters C, Hann I, De Rossi  G, Felice M, Lausen B, LeBlanc T, Szczepanski T, Ferster A, Janka-Schaub G, Rubnitz J, Silverman LB, Stay J, Campbell M, Li CK, Suppiah R, Biondi A, Vora A, Valsecchi MG, Pieters R and on behalf of the Interfant-99 Study Group.  Improved outcome with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in a poor prognostic subgroup of infants with mixed-lineage-leukemia (MLL) rearranged acute lymphoblastic leukemia: results from the Interfant-99 Study.  Blood 2010, 116:2644-2650.

  2. Lönnerholm G, Valsecchi MG, Lorenzo PD, Schrappe M, Hovi L, Campbell M, Mann G, Janka-Schaub G, Li CK, Stary J, Hann I and Pieters R, for the Interfant-99 Study Group.  Pharmacokinetics of High-Dose Methotrexate in Infants Treated for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.  Pediatr Blood Cancer 2009, 52:596-601.

  3. Cheng CK, Li L, Cheng SH, Lau KM, Chan NPH, Wong RSM, Shing MMK, Li CK, Ng MHL. Transcriptional repression of the RUNX3/AML2 gene by the t98;21) and inv(16) fusion proteins in acute myeloid leukemia. Blood 2008;112:3391-3402.

  4. Fronkova E, Mejstrikova E, Avigad S, Chik KW, Castillo L, Manor S, Reznickova L, Valova T, Zdrahalova K, Hrusak O, Jabali Y, Schrappe M, Conter V, Izraeli S, Li CK, Stark B, Stary J and Trka J.  Minimal residual disease (MRD) analysis in the non-MRD-based ALL IC-BFM 2002 protocol for childhood ALL: is it possible to avoid MRD testing.  Leukaemia, 2008;22:989-997.

  5. Pieters R, Schrappe M, De Lorenzo P, Hann I, De Rossi G, Felice M, Hovi L, LeBlanc T, Szczepanski T, Ferster A, Janka G, Rubnitz J, Silverman L, Stary J, Campbell M, Li CK, Mann G, Suppiah R, Biondi A, Vora A, Valsecchi MG.  A treatment protocol for infants younger than 1 year with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (Interfant-99): an observational study and a multicentre randomized trial.  The Lancet, 2007: 370:240-370.

  6. Li CK, Zee B, Lee J, Chik KW, Ha SY, Lee V.  Impact of SARS on development of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.  Leukemia 2007; 21:1353-1356.

  7. Li CK, Chik KW, Ha SY, Lee ACW, Yuen HL, Ling SC, Lee V, Chan GCF, Shing MMK, Chan LC, Ng MHL.  Improved outcome of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia treated by delayed intensification in Hong Kong children: HKALL 97 study.  Hong Kong Medical Journal, 2006; 12:394-400.



  1. Reduced-intensity conditioning regimens for allogeneic transplantation in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Verneris MR, Eapen M, Duerst R, Carpenter PA, Burke MJ, Afanasyev BV, Cowan MJ, He W, Krance R, Li CK, Tan PL, Wagner JE, Davies SM. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2010;16:1237-44.

  2. Cheng FWT, Lee V, Leung WK, Chan PKS, Leung TF, Shing MK,Li CK.  HHV-6 encephalitis in Pediatric Unrelated Umbilical Cord Transplantation: A role for ganciclovir prophylaxis?  Pediatric Transplantation, 2010; 14: 483-487.

  3. Cheng FWT, Chan PKS, Lee V, Leung WK, Shing MK, Li CK, Leung TF.  Lymphoproliferative response to herpes simplex virus type 1, cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, varicella zoster virus, human herpes virus 6, 7 and 8 antigen stimulation in pediatric allogeneic stem cell transplant recipients.  Pediatric Transplantation, 2010;

  4. Cheng WTF, Lee V, To KF, Chan KCA, Shing MK, LI CK.  Post-Transplant EBV-Related Lymphoproliferative Disorder Complicating Umbilical Cord Blood Transplantation in Patients of Adrenoleukodystrophy.  Pediatr Blood Cancer 2009, 53:1329-31.

  5. Hung EC, Shing TK, Chim SS, Yeung PC, Chan RW, Chik KW, Lee V, Tsui NB, Li CK, Wong CS, Chiu RW, Lo YM.  Presence of Donor-Derived DNA and Cells in the Urine of Sex-Mismatched Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Recipients: Implication for the Transrenal Hypothesis.  Clin Chem, 2009, 55:715-22.

  6. Lee V, Cheng PS, Chik KW, Wong GWK, Shing MMK, Li CK.  Autoimmune hypothyroidism after unrelated haematopoietic stem cell transplantation in children.  J Pediatr Hematol Oncol, 2006; 28:293-295.

  7. Leung TF, Hung EC, Lam CW, Li CK, Chu Y, Chik KW, Shing MK, Lee V, Yuen PM.  Bone mineral density in children with thalassaemia major: determining factors and effects of bone marrow transplantation.  Bone Marrow Transplantation, 2005; 36:331-336.



  1. Cappellini MD, Porter J, El-Beshlawy A, Li CK, Seymour JF, Elalfy M, Gattermann N, Giraudier S, Lee JW, Chan LL, Lin KH, Rose C, Taher A, Thein SL, Viprakasit V, Habr D, Domokos G, Roubert B, Kattamis A on behalf of the EPIC study investigators.  Tailoring Iron Chelation by Iron Intake and Serum Ferritin: the Prospective EPIC Study of Deferasirox in 1744 patients with transfusion-dependent anemias.  Haematologica, 2010: 95: 557-566.

  2. Pennell DJ, Porter JB, Cappellini MD, El-Beshlawy A, Chan LL, Aydinok Y, Elalfy MS, Sutcharitchan P, Li CK, Ibrahim H, Viprakasit V, Kattamis A, Smith G, Habr D, Domokos G, Roubert B, Taher A.  Efficacy of Deferasirox in Reducing and Preventing Cardiac Iron Overload in ß-thalassemia.  Blood, 2010; 115: 2364-2371.

  3. LI CK, Lee V, Shing MK, Leung TF.  Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation for Thalassaemia in Chinese Patients.  Hong Kong Medical Journal 2009, 15 (Suppl 3): 39-41.

  4. Leung AWK, Chu WCW, Lam WWM, Lee V, Li CK.  Magnetic resonance imaging assessment of cardiac and liver iron load in transfusion dependent patients.  Pediatr Blood Cancer, 2009; 53:1054-1059.

  5. Leung TF, Chu Y, Lee V, Cheng FW, Leung WK, Shing MM, Li CK.  Long-term effects of pamidronate in thalassemic patients with severe bone mineral density deficits.  Hemoglobin, 2009; 33(5):361-369.

  6. Gibney GT, Panhuysen CIM, So JCC, Ma ESK, Ha SY, Li CK, Lee ACW, Li CK, Yuen HL, Lau YL, Johnson DM, Farrell JJ, Bisbee AB, Farrer LA, Steinberg MH, Chan LC, Chui DHK.  Variation and heritability of Hb F and F-cells among ß-thalassemia heterozygotes in Hong Kong.  American Journal of Hematology, 2008

  7. Leung TF, Hung EC, Lam CW, Li CK, Chu Y, Chik KW, Shing MK, Lee V, Yuen PM.  Bone mineral density in children with thalassaemia major: determining factors and effects of bone marrow transplantation.  Bone Marrow Transplantation, 2005; 36:331-336.



  1. Rasalkar DD, Chu WCW, Cheng FWT, Paunipagar BK, Shing MK and Li CK.  Pictorial Review - Atypical Location of Germinoma in Basal Ganglia in Adolescents: Radiological features and treatment outcomes.  The British Journal of Radiology, 2010; 83:261-267.

  2. Lau JTF, Yu XN, Chu Y, Shing MMK, Wong EMC, Leung TF, Li CK, Fok TF, Mak WWS.  Validation of the Chinese version of the Pediatric Quality of Life InventoryTM (PedsQLTM) Cancer Module.  Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 2010; 35:99-109.

  3. Cheng WTF, Leung TF, Chan PKS, Leung WK, Lee V, Shing MK, Yuen PMP, Li CK.  Recovery of humoral and cellular immunities to vaccine-preventable infectious diseases in pediatric oncology patients.  Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, 2010; 27:195-204.

  4. Jang JYK, Cheng FWT, Wong KC, Lee V, Leung WK, Shing MMK, Kumta SM, Li CK.  Initial Presentation and Management of Osteosarcoma, and its impact on disease outcome.  Hong Kong Med J, 2009; 15:434+439.

  5. Cheng FW, Leung TF, Chan PK, Lee V, Shing MK, Chik KW, Yuen PM, Li CK.  Humoral immune response after post-chemotherapy booster diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine in pediatric oncology patients.  Pediatr. Blood Cancer, 2009; 52(2):248-253.

  6. Chan CWH, Cheng KKF, Lam LW, Li CK, Chik KW, Cheung JSS.  Psycho-educational intervention for chemotherapy-associated nausea and vomiting in paediatric oncology patients:  a pilot study.  Hong Kong Medical Journal, 2008; 14(Suppl 5): S32-35.

  7. Chan MS, Roebuck DJ, Yuen MP, Li CK, Chan YL.  MR imaging of the brain in patients cured of acute lymphoblastic leukemia – the value of gradient echo imaging.  AJNR Am J Neuroradiol., 2006; 27:548-552.


Stem cell biology

  1. Li K, Ooi VE, Chuen CK, Lam AC, Ooi LS, Zhang XB, Tsang KS, Chiu LC, Chan KY, Li CK, Fok TF Yuen PM, Ng PC.  The plant mannose-binding lectin NTL preserves cord blood haematopoietic stem/progenitor cells in long-term culture and enhances their ex vivo expansion.  Br J Haematol., 2008; 140(1):90-98.

  2. Yang M, Li K, Ng PC, Chuen CKY, Lau TK, Cheng YS, Liu YS, Li CK, Yuen PMP, James AE, James AE, Lee SM, Fok TF.  Promoting effects of serotonin on hematopoiesis: Ex Vivo expansion of cord blood CD34+ Stem/Progenitor cells, proliferation of bone marrow stromal cells and antiapoptosis.  Stem Cells, 2007; 25: 1800-1806.

  3. Li K, Sung RYT, Huang WZ, Yang M, Pong NH, Lee SM, Chan WY, Zhao H, To MY, Fok TF, Li CK, Wong YO, Ng PC.  Thrombopoietin protects Against in vitro and in vivo cardiotoxicity induced by Doxorubicin.  Circulation, 2006; 113:2211-2220.

  4. Su RJ, Li K, Zhang XB, Yuen PMP, Li CK, James AE, Liu J and Fok TF.  Platelet-derived growth factor enhances expansion of umbilical cord blood CD34+ cells in contact with hematopoietic stroma.  Stem Cells and Development, 2005; 14:223-230.

  5. Lam HK, Li K, Chik KW, Yang M, Liu VC, Li CK, Fok TF, Ng PC, Shing MK, Chuen CK, Yuen PM.  Arsenic Trioxide mediates intrinsic and extrinsic pathways of apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in acute megakaryocytic leukemia.  Int J Oncol, 2005; 27:537-545.


Educational activities

The Children’s Cancer Centreis serving as a paediatric oncology training centre for medical, nursing and technology staffs. The Centre provides three-month clinical attachments for doctors and nurses from mainland China. The Team collaborates with Shanghai Children Medical Center of Jiaotong University, and conducts Paediatric Oncology Training Courses annually in different cities of China, with financial support from Hong Kong Children’s Cancer Foundation.


Patient Support Group

The Little Warrior Society is formed by patients, parents, medical and nursing staffs of the Centre. Regular ward visits and recreational activities are arranged for newly diagnosed patients and also survivor families. A Choir is formed and performs in various public function.


Faculty of Medicine

The Chinese University of Hong Kong

6/F Lui Che Woo Clinical Sciences Building

Prince of Wales Hospital



Office Hours:

08:45 - 13:00 and 14:00 - 17:30 (Mon - Thur)

08:45 - 13:00 and 14:00 - 17:45 (Fri)

Email:  paediatrics@cuhk.edu.hk

Tel:       (852) 3505-2851

Fax:      (852) 2636-0020

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The Chinese University of Hong Kong.