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June 28, 2021

The Chinese University of Hong Kong and Aurora Medical Technology Hong Kong to collaborate on breast cancer research program

Aurora Medical Technology Hong Kong (Aurora-HK) and The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) are pleased to announce the completion of a landmark collaboration agreement leveraging the shared interests and diverse expertise of the two entities.


Led by Winnie chiu-wing Chu MD, Professor of radiology at CUHK and Abraham Morse MD, Medical Director of Aurora, the joint project will investigate the potential advantages and challenges of using breast-dedicated MRI for first-line breast cancer screening in Chinese women with dense breasts, for whom the efficacy of mammographic screening is significantly reduced. 


This study will recruit participants from a territory-wide cancer screening program in Hong Kong who will also undergo breast-dedicated MRI.  Performance of the two modalities will be compared by having MRIs and mammograms interpreted by different radiologists blinded to the results of the other modality. The project will be funded jointly through a grant from Aurora and research funding from Hong Kong.


The two organizations were introduced by Raymond Leung, Chairman of the CUHK Advisory Board of the Faculty of Engineering from 2011-2017, and Chairman and CEO of Altai technologies who expressed that “Aurora and CUHK’s Professor Chu have a shared interest in advancing our understanding of the role of MRI in breast-cancer screening in Hong Kong and beyond. It is my privilege to connect the two organizations so that they can make progress together to improve women’s health. 


Dr. Morse noted that “thanks to his keen understanding of our two organizations, Mr. Leung brought us together where we quickly realized that there were broad shared interests in collaboration in the vertical that starts with biomedical innovation and proceeds through the development of new technology and new clinical applications to the careful study of real-world outcomes and benefits. When improved outcomes are demonstrated, they can be put into practice through CUHKs unique position as one of Hong Kong's leading academic institutions that runs its own private general hospital”.


Similarly, Professor Chu emphasized that “our new collaboration with Aurora to undertake a head to head comparison of mammogram and MRI for breast cancer screening is an exciting opportunity. We anticipate it will be the first of many joint efforts to contribute to the understanding of the performance of various imaging modalities in breast cancer screening.”


"Breast cancer is now the most prevalent cancer in the world with 2.3 million diagnosed and 685,000 deaths in 2020.  Asia accounts for more than half of both cases and deaths, making it one of the biggest health problems to overcome. It is hoped that with this collaboration between Aurora and CUHK, the result will be an important step towards alleviating its impact on women in Asia and worldwide which has been the mission of the Aurora team,” said Olivia Ho Cheng, CEO of Aurora. 


Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). CU Medicine is a top medical school in Asia with a relatively young history. Since its establishment in 1981, the Faculty has been committed to making a difference to the world by improving people’s health through advanced health care, medical education and research. The faculty members work across disciplines with international experts and have made collaborative discoveries which have changed global clinical practice and shifted treatment paradigms. CU Medicine has achieved regional and world firsts in many research and procedures and gained a reputation as a pioneer in some of the world’s most advanced surgical technologies and techniques. In recent years, the Faculty has been ranked amongst the world’s top 50 medical schools in QS World University Rankings and the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.


Aurora Healthcare US Corp. (“Aurora”), a privately-held company based in Massachusetts, USA manufactures the only MRI system dedicated to breast imaging for screening and diagnostic indications. The integration of Aurora’s multiple innovations in hardware and software result in MRI studies with higher resolution and fewer artifacts and anatomic distortions that typical general-use MRI. The Aurora Breast Clinic (ABC) embeds Aurora’s technological leadership at the core of a comprehensive diagnostic and survivorship care system. Building on its US foundation and after recent China FDA clearance, Aurora is expanding into Greater China from its base of operations in Chengdu, Sichuan, where it already operating a successful ABC and has introduced the first mobile breast MRI screening clinic in China.

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