Past Director of Radiotherapy, the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
After graduating from the Medical School of the University of Hong Kong in the late 1960s, and undertaking some other stints, Dr. Tsao took up oncology as his life-time career, being inspired by John H.C. Ho, a world-renowned expert on nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC). NPC is a very prevalent cancer in southern China, boasting ~1,000 new cases/year but exceedingly rare in Caucasians: deemed a genetic predisposition. With postgraduate qualifications [DMRT (Lond) and FRCR (Oncol)] by early 1980s, and a specialist status, he aspired to enhance NPC treatment efficacy. In the mid-1980s, he was seconded to the new Department of Clinical Oncology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), the first academic oncology department in Hong Kong. Eventually, he was appointed as the Director of Radiotherapy, CUHK; meanwhile, the Department’s research laboratory (equipment and infrastructure) was also fully set up. Now, as NPC is more responsive to both radiotherapy (RT) and chemotherapy than other cancers, surgery for NPC is usually reserved for resistant local relapses as NPC would usually respond well to non-surgical treatment modes. Notably, the minority of early NPCs are actually curable by RT alone, except that the NP is in the vicinity of numerous vital structures that it mandates the highest RT skill. The occurrence of collateral damages also demands meticulous care upon the delivery of RT, especially for all those locally very extensive NPCs.