Dr. James Ho is a Clinical Associate Professor at the Department of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong. He received his medical degree (M.B.,B.S.) from The University of Hong Kong in 1993, with training in internal medicine and respiratory medicine in the Department of Medicine, Queen Mary Hospital. He obtained Doctor of Medicine from The University of Hong Kong with his thesis entitled "Non-small cell lung cancer: from bench to bedside". He is a Specialist in Respiratory Medicine in Hong Kong, Fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians, Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and London. He underwent basic research in lung cancer biology at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, USA from 2000-01. Among his various appointments in professional societies, he was the President of the Hong Kong Thoracic Society in 2011-13 and a committee member of the Education Committee and Membership Committee of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer. Currently, he is the Chairman of the Hong Kong Lung Foundation (2021-23) and the appointed Chairman of the Specialty Board in Respiratory Medicine of the Hong Kong College of Physicians (2021-2023).
Dr. Ho has an established track record in lung cancer research, and the areas of focus over the years include the role of antioxidants, epidemiology, diagnostics, and management. The emphasis of recent projects is on translational research into novel lung cancer therapeutic options and clinical trials. Based on the earlier findings on altered antioxidant expression in lung cancer tissues (Ho JC et al. Cancer Research 2001;61:8578-8585), a subsequent clinical study was conducted demonstrating the independent alterations of systemic superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase levels among lung cancer subjects (Ho JC et al. Eur Respir J 2007;29:273-278). This may further enhance the understanding of the role of antioxidants in lung carcinogenesis. Lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma (LELC) of lung has been an uncommon type of Epstein-Barr virus-related lung cancer with special interest among the Asians. Apart from being one of the pioneers in first-line systemic chemotherapy treatment for advanced LELC of lung (Ho JC et al. Respir Med 2000;94(10):943-947), Dr. Ho and his team have reported a novel clinical application of oral capecitabine as a salvage chemotherapy treatment of this uncommon type of lung cancer (Ho JC et al. J Thorac Oncol 2009;4(9):1174-1177). His clinical experience in LELC of lung has been summarized in one of the few reviews on the area (Ho JC et al. Respirology 2006;11:539-545). In recent years, targeted therapy (e.g. against epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)) has emerged as a promising approach in treatment of non-small cell lung cancer, though acquired resistance is almost inevitable. A pre-clinical study on the combination of autophagy inhibitor with erlotinib (targeted therapy against EGFR) may shed light on further improving the outcome of this treatment approach (Li YY, Lam SK, Mak JC, Zheng CY, Ho JC. Lung Cancer 2013;81(3):354-61). Another pre-clinical model has demonstrated a synergistic combination of arsenic trioxide (available in HKU as an oral treatment for acute promyelocytic leukaemia) and cisplatin in small cell lung cancer (Zheng CY, Lam SK, Li YY, Fong BM, Mak JC, Ho JC. Lung Cancer 2013;82(2):222-30), which may hold promise in improving the existing treatment. Recent research focus also includes pre-clinical exploration of pegylated arginase treatment in non-small cell lung cancer (Lam SK, U KP, Li YY, Xu S, Cheng PN, Ho JC. Oncology Reports 2018;40(4):1994-2004), small cell lung cancer (Xu S, Lam SK, Cheng PN, Ho JC. Cancer Sci 2018 Aug 28. doi: 10.1111/cas.13782) and malignant pleural mesothelioma (Lam SK, Yan S, Xu S, Ho JC. Targeting polyamine as a novel therapy in xenograft models of malignant pleural mesothelioma. Lung Cancer 2020;148:138-148).
- Cao X, Ganti AK, Stinchcombe T, Wong ML, Ho JC, Shen C, Liu Y, Crawford J, Pang H, Wang X. Predicting risk of chemotherapy-induced severe neutropenia: a pooled analysis in individual patients data with advanced lung cancer. Lung cancer 2020 Mar;141:14-20. doi: 10.1016/j.lungcan.2020.01.004.
- Xu S, Lam SK, Cheng PN, Ho JC*. Contactin 1 modulates pegylated arginase resistance in small cell lung cancer through induction of epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Sci Rep 2019 Aug 19;9(1):12030.
- Lam SK, Yan S, Xu S, U KP, Cheng PN, Ho JC*. Endogenous arginase 2 as a potential biomarker for PEGylated arginase 1 treatment in xenograft models of squamous cell lung carcinoma. Oncogenesis 2019 Feb 26;8(3):18. doi: 10.1038/s41389-019-0128-0.
- Xu S, Lam SK, Cheng PN, Ho JC*. Recombinant human arginase induces apoptosis via oxidative stress and cell cycle arrest in small cell lung cancer. Cancer Sci 2018 Aug 28. doi: 10.1111/cas.13782.
- Wu YL, Lu S, Lu Y, Zhou JY, Shi YK, Sriuranpong V, Ho JCM, Ong CK, Tsai CM, Chung CH, Wilner KD, Tang Y, Masters ET, Selaru, P, Mok TS. First-line crizotinib versus chemotherapy in East Asian patients with ALK-positive advanced non-small cell lung cancer: phase III study results. J Thorac Oncol 2018;pii: S1556-0864(18)30721-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jtho.2018.06.012.
- Lam SK, U KP, Li YY, Xu S, Cheng PN, Ho JC*. Inhibition of ornithine decarboxylase 1 facilitates pegylated arginase treatment in lung adenocarcinoma xenograft models. Oncology Reports 2018;40(4):1994-2004.
- Han L, Lee CK, Pang H, Chan HT, Lo IL, Lam SK, Cheong TH, Ho JC*. Genetic predisposition to lung adenocarcinoma among never-smoking Chinese with different epidermal growth factor receptor mutation status. Lung Cancer 2017;114:79-89.
- Lam SK, Li YY, Xu S, Leung LL, U KP, Zheng YF, Cheng PN, Ho JC*. Growth suppressive effect of pegylated arginase in malignant pleural mesothelioma xenografts. Respir Res 2017;18(1):80. Doi: 10.1186/s12931-017-0564-3.
- Ho JC*, Lam SK. Combining arginine depletion and chemotherapy in thoracic malignancies. J Clin Oncol 2017;35(16):1758-1759.
- Lam SK, Leung LL, Li YY, Zheng CY, Ho JC*. Combination effects of arsenic trioxide and fibroblast growth factor receptor inhibitor in squamous cell lung carcinoma. Lung Cancer 2016;100:111-119.
- Bai CX, Choi CM, Chu CM, Anantham D, Ho JC, Khan AZ, Lee JM, Li SY, Saenghirunvattana S, Yim A. Evaluation of pulmonary nodules: clinical practice consensus guidelines for Asia. Chest 2016; 150(4):877-893.
- Zheng CY, Lam SK, Li YY, Fong BM, Mak JC, Ho JC*. Combination of arsenic trioxide and chemotherapy in small cell lung cancer. Lung Cancer 2013 ;82(2):222-30.
- Ho JC *, Au WY, Han L, Kwong YL, Ip MS. Effect of therapeutic arsenic exposure on pulmonary function. Respiratory Medicine 2013; 107(9):1423-30.
- Wu YL, Lee JS, Thongprasert S, Yu CJ, Zhang L, Ladrera G, Srimuninnimit V, Sriuranpong V, Sandoval-Tan J, Zhu Y, Liao M, Zhou C, Pan H, Lee V, Chen YM, Sun Y, Margono B, Fuerte F, Chang GC, Seetalarom K, Wang J, Cheng A, Syahruddin E, Qian X, Ho JC, Kurnianda J, Liu HE, Jin K, Truman M, Bara I, Mok TS. Intercalated combination of chemotherapy and erlotinib for patients with advanced stage non-small cell lung cancer. Lancet Oncology 2013;14(8):777-86.
- Li YY, Lam SK, Mak JC, Zheng CY, Ho JC*. Erlotinib-induced autophagy in epidermal growth factor receptor mutated non-small cell lung cancer. Lung Cancer 2013; 81(3):354-61.
- Thompson P, Salvi S, Lin J, Cho YJ, Eng P, Manap RA, Boonsawat W, Hsu JY, Faruqi RA, Moreno-Cantu JJ, Fish JE, Ho JC. Insights, attitudes, and perceptions about asthma and its treatment: Findings from a multinational survey of patients from 8 Asia-Pacific countries and Hong Kong. Respirology 2013; 18(6):957-67.
- Ho JC*, Lam DC, Wong MK, Lam B, Ip MS, Lam WK. Capecitabine as salvage treatment for lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma of lung. J Thorac Oncol 2009;4(9):1174-1177.
- Ho JC*, Chan-Yeung M, Ho SP, Mak JC, Ip MS, Ooi GC, Wong MP, Tsang KW, Lam WK. Disturbance of systemic antioxidant profile in non-small cell lung carcinoma. Eur Respir J 2007;29:273-278.
- Ho JC*, Mak JC, Ho SP, Ip MS, Tsang KW, Lam WK, Chan-Yeung M. Manganese superoxide dismutase and catalase genetic polymorphisms, activity levels and lung cancer risk in Chinese in Hong Kong. J Thorac Oncol 2006;1:648-653.
- Ho JC, Zheng S, Comhair SA, Farver C, Erzurum SC. Differential expression of manganese superoxide dismutase and catalase in lung cancer. Cancer Research 2001;61:8578-8585.
- Hong Kong Lung Foundation: Chairman (2021-23)
- Hong Kong Thoracic Society: President (2011-13)
- Specialty Board in Respiratory Medicine, Hong Kong College of Physicians: board member (since 2013); Secretary (2019-21); Chairman (2021-23)
- Institutional Review Board of the University of Hong Kong/HKWC: Deputy Chairman (since 2013)
- International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC): member of Education Committee (2013-17), member of Membership Committee (2015-2019)
- Committee on Trust Fund for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Labour and Welfare Bureau, Government of Hong Kong SAR: member (appointed) (8 Nov 2019 – 7 Nov 2021)
- Pneumoconiosis Compensation Fund Board grant 2020 entitled “Identification of arsenic trioxide-resistant genes in cisplatin-resistant mesothelioma cells using CRISPR screening” (HKD 1,648,280): Co-Principal Investigator (starting from 2021)
- Health and Medical Research Fund 2018/19 (ref:07182776) entitled “Anti-inflammatory effects of roflumilast treatment for 12 weeks in stable-state non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis” (HKD 1,015,872): Principal Investigator (starting from 2020)
- Pneumoconiosis Compensation Fund Board grant 2019 entitled “Inhibition of Warburg effect with a novel combination of dichloroacetate and niclosamide for therapy in malignant pleural mesothelioma” (HKD 1,112,888): Co-Investigator (starting from 2020)
- General Research Fund 2018/19 (ref:17126819) entitled “Enhanced immunotherapy strategy for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) harbouring targetable mutation and failed standard tyrosine kinase inhibitors” (HKD 422,285): Principal Investigator (starting from 2020)
- Health and Medical Research Fund 2017/18 (ref:16172901) entitled “Translational meta-analysis of immunotherapy studies in lung and liver cancer” (HKD 387,512): Principal Investigator (starting from August 2019)
- Health and Medical Research Fund 2016/17 (ref:05162206) entitled “Harnessing tyrosine kinase inhibitor resistance of EGFR-mutated lung adenocarcinomas through candidate resistant genes screening” (HKD 1,200,000): Co-Investigator
- Health and Medical Research Fund 2016/17 (ref:15162491) entitled “Modelling chemotherapy-induced neutropenia and other hematologic toxicities in elderly patients” (HKD 494,042): Co-Investigator
- Pneumoconiosis Compensation Fund Board grant 2016 entitled “Targeting polyamine for therapy in malignant pleural mesothelioma” (HKD 884,536): Co-Investigator
- Pneumoconiosis Compensation Fund Board grant 2015 entitled “In vitro and in vivo study of arginase in treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma” (HKD 986,306): Principal Investigator