Liver Cancer News

Blue Faery: The Adrienne Wilson Liver Cancer Association

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El-Khoueiry Elucidates Recent Updates In The Rapidly Evolving HCC Treatment Paradigm
31 July 2020
“A massive evolution has occurred in the treatment of patients with HCC over the past couple of years. Multiple new agents have received approval, and with these approvals, the landscape continues to shift,” said El-Khoueiry, medical director of the Clinical Investigations Support Office at the University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. He explains that for a long time sorafenib was the only standard, first-line systemic therapy and has shown improved overall survival (OS) compared with placebo with a median overall survival (OS) of 10 to 11 months. Recently, the REFLECT trial proved the non-inferiority of lenvatinib (Lenvima) compared with sorafenib. He also discussed the strict guidelines for the IMbrave150 trial, which compared the combination of atezolizumab and bevacizumab with sorafenib.

China Launches Study On Liver Cancer In Hepatitis B Patients
28 July 2020
A research project, sponsored by the Chinese Foundation for Hepatitis Prevention and Control, aimed at lowering the incidence of liver cancer among patients with hepatitis B was recently launched in China. A team of researchers will observe and study the five-year incidence of liver cancer among 20,000 chronic hepatitis B patients in 99 hospitals across the country. It is estimated that 85 percent of China's liver cancer patients have been infected with the hepatitis B virus. The study aims to optimize the clinical treatment path of hepatitis B antiviral therapy and explore ways of reducing the incidence of liver cancer linked to hepatitis B. “We hope long-term treatment and observation can answer questions that traditional clinical trials cannot, like what's the difference in liver cancer incidence between different therapies,” said Zhang Wenhong, a leading expert working on the project.

Committed To Change: Blue Faery's Fight Against Liver Cancer
20 July 2020
Andrea Wilson, founder and president of Blue Faery: The Adrienne Wilson Liver Cancer Association, explains how much her life changed when she became the guardian of her younger sister Adrienne and again how her life changed when Adrienne was diagnosed with Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). Tests revealed that Adrienne had gotten hepatitis B and C from their mother during childbirth, which can contribute to the development of HCC. Andrea founded Blue Faery to help prevent, treat and cure primary liver cancer — specifically, HCC — through research, education and advocacy. Blue Faery is currently the only nonprofit organization in the United States solely devoted to fighting primary liver cancer.

FDA Approves Tecentriq Plus Avastin For Liver Cancer
20 July 2020
Based on the results of the Phase III IMbrave150 study, the FDA has approved a regimen combining the immune checkpoint inhibitor Tecentriq (atezolizumab) and the targeted therapy Avastin (bevacizumab) for the treatment of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). The study, which included over 500 patients, showed that the combination reduced the risk of disease progression or death by 41%, prolonged overall survival and improved quality of life compared with the standard-of-care treatment, Nexavar (sorafenib). Tecentriq is a PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitor that restores T-cell activity against cancer, while Avastin is a monoclonal antibody that blocks VEGF, a protein that promotes the proliferation of blood vessels that supply tumors and plays a role in immune suppression. Nexavar is a multikinase inhibitor that blocks the action of several enzymes, including VEGFR, BRAF and RET, involved in cell growth pathways.

Dr Saurabh Performs Advanced Vascular Interventional Radiology Procedures At JK Medicity
19 July 2020
Dr. Saurabh Gupta, an interventional radiologist at JK Medicity Superspeciality Hospital, performed Complex Vascular Interventional Radiology procedures and shared some details for a few of the procedures. Dr. Gupta begins, “One patient was suffering from large 7.5 cm Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) and was given Trans Arterial Chemo-Embolization (TACE) therapy for palliation.” He cut off the blood supply of the tumor by obstructing with embolic particles preloaded with a chemotherapeutic drug, which leads to necrosis of the tumor, and reduces its size considerably. Dr. Gupta has worked as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Radiology at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, and has attended an Intensive International Course in Chemoembolization (TACE) at Seoul National University Hospital, South Korea. He specializes in performing minimally invasive procedures with precision under image guidance using ultrasound, CT scan and Cath.

New Study Supports Expanded Indication For Lenvatinib In Advanced HCC
18 July 2020
Based on the REFLECT trial, Lenvatinib (Lenvima) offers potential benefits for patients with advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). The excluded portion of the study included 152 patients, 95 of whom received lenvatinib as first-line therapy, and 57 patients received it as second- or later-line systemic therapy. As a first-line treatment, patients had a median progression-free survival (PFS) of 5.2 months, and as a later-line treatment, patients had a median PFS of 4.8 months. Globally, REFLECT was a phase III randomized trial conducted in 20 countries that compared lenvatinib to sorafenib (Nexavar) in first-line treatment of patients with unresectable HCC. Among 954 randomized patients, the median overall survival (OS) for lenvatinib was 13.6 months, and the median OS for sorafenib was 12.3 months which met the authors’ predetermined criteria for noninferiority.

Hepatitis B Surveillance And Treatment In The UCSF Department Of Radiology And Biomedical Imaging
17 July 2020
Hepatitis B infection can, over many years, lead to liver damage as well as Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) if left untreated. When people with hepatitis B develop liver tumors, they often have no symptoms. In the UCSF Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, patients with hepatitis B are initially screened for liver tumors using ultrasound, followed by CT and MRI if necessary. The team of researchers has adopted new MRI technology (MR Elastography) in which the liver stiffness can be measured non-invasively, allowing patients to avoid needle biopsies. For patients with hepatitis B who develop liver tumors, scientists in the UCSF Department of Radiology will treat the tumors. Interventional radiologists at UCSF will use small catheters to either cut off the blood flow feeding the liver tumors or to selectively inject chemotherapy into the tumor while sparing much of the rest of the body. Radiologists may also treat tumors by heating them, so the patients avoid surgery.

Expert Explores Second-Line Treatment Options For Hepatocellular Carcinoma
16 July 2020
Dr. Tanios S. Bekaii-Saab, leader of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Program at Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, discusses which therapies are best in the second-line setting after patients’ disease has progressed after initial treatment. The basic options for second-line treatment are Stivarga (regorafenib) and Cabometyx (cabozantinib). Dr. Bekaii-Saab explains that if a patient’s alpha-fetoprotein level is 400 ng/mL or more, Cyramza (ramucirumab) is another option, along with Yervoy (ipilimumab) and Opdivo (nivolumab), as well as Keytruda (pembrolizumab). Further, Bekaii-Saab says, “We have had several options in the second line, they all came at the heels of sorafenib (Nexavar). We do not have much data that informs us about what to do following atezolizumab and bevacizumab. So, we have to go with what we have.”

Impact Of Covid-19 On Patients With Hepatocellular Carcinoma
15 July 2020
The risk of infection of Covid-19 is high in patients with chronic liver disease (CLD), liver transplant, and cancer due to altered immune function. As a result, Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) patients may be at an increased risk for severe Covid-19 symptoms, and more likely to be admitted to intensive care. the pandemic has resulted in an unforeseen disruption in the management of HCC in all stages. Patients who are at risk of developing HCC, such as those with hepatitis B, hepatitis C, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and require close monitoring have seen interruption in screening and diagnosis for HCC. Delays to treatment are also at risk of contributing to progression to incurable cancer. Furthermore, Covid-19 has also caused delays in 16 clinical trials for HCC including the Phase II/III TACE-3 trial investigating the safety and efficacy of nivolumab in combination with TACE for patients with intermediate-stage HCC.

Xin Wei Wang, Phd, On New Blood Test Able To Identify Those Likely To Develop HCC
14 July 2020
A team of researchers led by Xin Wei Wang, Ph.D., co-leader of the NCI Center for Cancer Research Liver Cancer Program has developed a new blood test that may help identify individuals who are likely to develop Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). The team profiled almost 900 serological samples and used a synthetic virome technology, titled VirScan, to detect the exposure history of these individuals. They developed a unique viral exposure signature (VES) that could discriminate HCC cases from at-risk or healthy volunteers and then validated this signature in a prospective cohort of 173 individuals with chronic liver disease. The test is still in its early stages of development.

Severance Unveils 3-Step Treatment Program To Treat Advanced Liver Cancer
14 July 2020
Currently, the standard treatment for advanced liver cancer is palliative treatment aimed at improving symptoms. Researchers at Severance Hospital said that they could increase the survival rate of patients with advanced liver cancer by conducting radiotherapy and administering anti-cancer drugs simultaneously. To confirm the therapeutic effect of the radiation-hepatic arterial chemotherapy (LD-CCRT), the research team of Professors Kim Beom-Kyung, Kim Do-young and Seong Jinsil at Yonsei Cancer Hospital conducted a clinical trial of 47 patients with advanced liver cancer. The team confirmed that over 53% of patients decreased tumor size by more than 30 percent, and nine patients dropped down to a lower stage of liver cancer allowing liver resection or liver transplantation to cure them completely.

Celsion Corporation Receives Recommendation From Independent Data Monitoring Committee To Consider Stopping The Phase III OPTIMA Study
13 July 2020
Celsion's Phase III OPTIMA Study of ThermoDox® in combination with radiofrequency ablation (RFA) for the treatment of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) has enrolled 554 patients at 65 clinical sites in North America, Europe, China and Asia Pacific. ThermoDox® is lyso-thermosensitive liposomal doxorubicin (LTLD) which delivers high concentrations of doxorubicin to a region targeted with the application of localized heat at 40°C. The Data Monitoring Committee (DMC) has submitted its recommendation to stop this study based on their analysis which found that the pre-specified boundary for stopping the trial for the futility of 0.900 was crossed with an actual value of 0.903. The final decision to cancel the study is left for Celsion.

Liver Organoid Offers New Promise For Transplantation And The Study Of Liver Disease
13 July 2020
A team of Biologists and bioengineers at EPFL have designed a new method for growing human mini livers, known as an organoid. Their process is beneficial for the opportunity to create transplantable lab-grown tissues and has the potential to be a major advance in regenerative medicine. The team used bipotent stem cells that occur naturally in the bile ducts connecting the liver to the gallbladder. “Using our method, we can recapitulate the fibrotic microenvironment and test potential treatments to see whether they stop or reverse the course of the disease,” says lead author, Giovanni Sorrentino, a postdoctoral researcher in the Schoonjans lab.

Will Immunotech Biopharm's Technology Help Combat Scourge Of Liver Cancer In China?
13 July 2020
Immunotech Biopharm is undergoing Phase 2 testing of 272 liver cancer patients in 14 hospitals in northern China in efforts to combat the recurrence after tumor-removal surgery. After raising $129 million in the company's IPO, Immunotech will fund clinical trials and commercialization of its “EAL” product—the first cellular immunotherapy product in China to start Phase two testing for solid tumors, according to the company's prospectus. EAL is an activated autologous lymphocyte (AAL) therapy. “EAL extracts target blood cells from the patient, activates them outside the body to restore their anti-tumor capabilities and reinfuses them to the body,” explained Wang Yu, CEO of Immunotech.

Viral Exposure Signature Predicts Hepatocellular Carcinoma
13 July 2020
According to a study by Jinping Liu, Ph.D., of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, and colleagues, a viral exposure signature can predict Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) risk before clinical diagnosis. The team used a synthetic human virome technology, VirScan, to perform serological profiling of viral infection history in 899 individuals. A viral exposure signature was developed, and the results were confirmed by a cohort with 173 at-risk patients for HCC development. They found that among at-risk individuals in the validation cohort, the viral exposure signature was significantly associated with HCC status. They concluded that the signature was superior to alpha-fetoprotein and identified cancer patients before clinical diagnosis.

Boost For Liver Cancer Patients With New $10.8 Million World-Class Research Centre
9 July 2020
Minderoo Foundation, Curtin University, The University of Western Australia, Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, the State Government and charitable organizations have provided a new $10.8 million research center. Professor Peter Leedman, Director of the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, and Curtin University’s Associate Professor Nina Tirnitz-Parker will co-lead a large team that will apply the latest techniques to analyze patient tumors and test new treatments. “This new center will establish organoids, miniaturized versions of an organ, from patient tumor samples that will be profiled,” Associate Professor Tirnitz-Parker said. The Western Australian Liver Cancer Collaborative will include more than 50 researchers from UWA and involve Perth’s three main teaching hospitals, as well as interstate and international collaborators.

HEPANOVA Trial Update: Final Patient With HCC Enrolled To Receive Ttfields/Sorafenib
9 July 2020
The phase II prospective single-arm pilot trial, HEPANOVA has enrolled its last patient with advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). This study is investigating the combination of Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields) and sorafenib (Nexavar). The first phase included 9 patients with a treatment duration of about 29 months. Pre-clinical studies showed that 150kHz of TTFields reduced HepG2 and Huh7D12 cell counts from 53% to 64%. In another study, TTFields combined with sorafenib led to a significant reduction in the number of HepG2 and Huh-7D12 cells when compared with TTFields alone and sorafenib alone. Another study demonstrated reduced viability, increased cell death and a significant reduction in tumor volume with TTFields at 150kHz plus sorafenib. In this second phase, 25 patients will receive TTFields at 150 kHz with sorafenib 400 mg twice daily.

The Doctor Called The Most Useful Products For Cancer Of The Liver
8 July 2020
According to Dr. Arya Krishnan, there are specific foods that will help liver cancer patients better cope with symptoms, support manpower, and increase the chances of recovery. Krishnan recommends eating five or six times a day, small portions about every three hours. She explains that lean proteins strengthen the immune system and accelerate the healing time of damaged cells. This includes chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, low-fat dairy products, and nuts. Whole grains help increase energy levels, such as oats, brown rice, whole grain pasta and bread. The consumption of fruits, berries, especially ones with rich, dark colors, supplies the body with powerful antioxidants, helping it to fight free radicals. Also, healthy fats contained in avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oi assist with the absorption of the necessary vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. And finally, is to drink large amounts of water is extremely important when having liver cancer.

Merck, Eisai's Keytruda-Lenvima Combo Stonewalled In Liver Cancer After Roche's First-In-Class Green Light
8 July 2020
The FDA concluded that Merck’s and Eisai’s early data “do not provide evidence that Keytruda in combination with Lenvima represents a meaningful advantage over available therapies for the treatment of unresectable or metastatic [Hepatocellular Carcinoma] with no prior systemic therapy for advanced disease,” the companies said. The FDA had previously granted breakthrough therapy designation for the combination of Keytruda and Lenvima in newly diagnosed liver cancer, based on the results from Keynote-524, a phase 1b study. According to new data, the combination triggered a response in 36% of previously untreated liver cancer patients, lasting for a median of 12.6 months. The two companies will be doing further testing on the Keytruda-Lenvima combo as a first-line liver cancer therapy in the phase 3 Leap-002 study, which is already fully enrolled.

CHA Hospital Predicts Liver Cancer Immunotherapy Response Using ADAM9’s Inhibitory Response
7 July 2020
A team of researchers, led by Professor Lee Jo-ho, at the CHA Bundang Hospital, have shown that ADAM9 (A Disintegrin and Metalloproteinase 9) can predict the response to treatment early in chemotherapy for liver cancer. ADAM9 is an enzyme that breaks down proteins and disrupts the body's immune system by cutting off MICA (MHC class I-related chain A), the natural killer cell receptors, expressed on the surface of cancer cells. To test the relationship between ADAM9 expression pattern and cancer progression in patients with liver cancer, the team analyzed genomic data of 370 patients and found that ADAM9 expression was higher in liver cancer tissues than in surrounding tissues, and patients with a higher ADAM9 expression level had a lower survival rate. The team concluded that ADAM9 blood level increased in the pre-hepatic cancer treatment and ADAM9 blood levels were lower to that of the general population for patients who completely cured their symptoms.

Novocure Enrolls Last Patient In HEPANOVA Trial Testing Tumor Treating Fields In Combination With Sorafenib In Advanced Liver Cancer
7 July 2020
Novocure has enrolled the last of the 25 patients into the HEPANOVA trial, a phase 2 trial testing Tumor Treating Fields in combination with sorafenib in patients with advanced liver cancer. The primary endpoint is overall response rate. “Tumor Treating Fields therapy has demonstrated efficacy in in-vitro and in vivo models of Hepatocellular Carcinoma,” said Asaf Danziger, Novocure’s Chief Executive Officer. Tumor Treating Fields is a cancer therapy that uses electric fields tuned to specific frequencies to disrupt cell division, inhibit tumor growth and potentially cause cancer cells to die. Tumor Treating Fields does not stimulate or heat tissue, and only targets dividing cancer cells of a specific size. In pre-clinical studies, Tumor Treating Fields delivered at 150 kHz reduced both HepG2 cell counts by 53% and Huh-7D12 cell counts by 64%, as well as increased apoptosis reduced tumor volume. The combined treatment of Tumor Treating Fields and sorafenib led to a greater reduction in the number of HepG2 and Huh-7D12 cells as compared to treatment alone.

Novel Protein Drives Cancer Progression
6 July 2020
A team of researchers from the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore (CSI Singapore) at the National University of Singapore (NUS) has found a protein that drives the growth of cancers of the liver by altering the genetic code. The protein, death-associated protein 3 (DAP3), represses a process called adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) RNA editing, which normally corrects the genetic code to ensure that genes are expressed correctly. By inhibiting RNA editing, DAP3 acts as an oncogene, a gene that can potentially cause cancer. With the team's discovery, the development of new treatments that target DAP3 for cancer treatment may be possible. The team showed that DAP3 could destroy the binding of ADAR2 protein to its target RNAs, thereby inhibiting the A-to-I RNA editing in cancer cells. This suppression is probably how DAP3 can promote cancer development.

8 Silent Signs Of Liver Cancer
3 July 2020
Ghassan Abou-Alfa, MD, medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center discusses signs of liver cancer. The first common symptom is weight loss without effort. Along with weight loss is a loss of appetite and feeling full quickly, which is a result of excess fluid in the abdomen. Bowel movements will be different than normal as well. If eyes or skin are yellow, a person may be jaundice, another symptom of liver cancer. “Certain characteristics may put you at risk for liver cancer. Those with a history of the virus hepatitis C can develop related liver cancer 10 years after their diagnosis,” Dr. Abou-Alfa says. He continues to explain, “The new driver [of liver cancer] is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.”

The European Commission Has Granted Orphan Medicinal Product Designation In The EU For MIV-818
3 July 2020
The European Commission, following the opinion from the European Medicines Agency (EMA), has granted orphan medicinal product designation in the European Union (EU) for MIV-818, developed by Medivir, for the treatment of patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). Orphan Medicinal Product designation provides certain regulatory and financial incentives, including the potential for a 10-year market exclusivity in the EU, for companies to develop and market therapies that treat a life-threatening or chronically debilitating conditions. MIV-818 is an orally administered treatment designed to selectively treat liver cancer cells and to minimize side effects.

Partnership Gets £4.4m Gov Grant For Better Liver Diagnostics
3 July 2020
A new collaboration between Perspectum, Manchester and Nottingham Universities, as well as Roche Diagnostics, GE Medical Systems and Jiva will work together to accelerate the development of (artificial intelligence) AI solutions for liver disease diagnostics, to provide earlier and more accurate diagnoses. To begin this work, Perspectum was granted £4.4 million by the UK government research grant (UKRI). It is all too well known that patients with liver disease often have no symptoms in the early stages, and when finally diagnosed in the stages when liver damage is irreversible, and the risk of cancer has increased. Early diagnosis allows patients to be treated when the disease may still reversible and help prevent the progression of liver cancer.

Microbiome-Based Diagnostic Tool Can Detect Liver Fibrosis And Cirrhosis In Stool Samples
2 July 2020
A team of researchers from Salk Institute and UC San Diego has created a new microbiome-based diagnostic tool that can quickly and inexpensively identify liver fibrosis and cirrhosis over 90 percent of the time in human patients. Liver cirrhosis can lead to liver cancer. “The microbiome is a dynamic living sensor of small changes in health and disease in the body, and as such, it provides an accurate readout of body health,” says Salk Professor Ronald Evans. The team examined over 160 samples and using data from microbiome genetic profiling and metabolites from the stool samples, the researchers discovered a microbiome signature that was associated with a cirrhosis diagnosis with 94 percent accuracy. The microbiome signature can also determine the stage of liver fibrosis.

Atezolizumab/Bevacizumab Shows Comparable Activity In Older Patients With Advanced HCC
1 July 2020
According to a subgroup analysis of the phase 3 IMbrave150 trial, the combination of atezolizumab (Tecentriq) and bevacizumab (Avastin) demonstrated comparable clinical activity and safety versus sorafenib (Nexavar) in patients with unresectable Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). At the 836-month follow-up, the subgroup of older patients, age 65 or older showed a 42% reduction in the risk of death, and the younger subgroup showed a 41% reduction in the risk of death. The IMbrave150 is the first randomized phase 3 trial in over a decade to demonstrate a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in overall survival (OS) versus sorafenib in previously untreated patients with unresectable HCC. “The results support the use of atezolizumab and bevacizumab as a practice-changing treatment even amongst older adults with unresectable HCC who have not received prior systemic treatment,” Daneng Li, MD, an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Medical Oncology and Therapeutics Research at City of Hope,

Nivolumab Demonstrates Survival and Safety Benefit in Frontline HCC With Longer Follow-Up
1 July 2020
According to Bruno Sangro, MD, PhD., the newest findings from the phase 3 CheckMate-459 trial demonstrate that the continued clinical and safety benefit of nivolumab (Opdivo) monotherapy warrants its consideration as a potential front-line standard of care for patients with advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). “In this balance between improved survival rates and better tolerability, this new analysis of the CheckMate-459 study provides support of the clinical benefit of nivolumab versus sorafenib,” said Sangro. “This provides [us with] an understanding [that] a good response to nivolumab makes achieving a prolonged survival a possibility.” The phase 3 CheckMate-459 trial focused on whether nivolumab, a PD-1 inhibitor, was better in overall survival (OS) than sorafenib, which was the standard of care for many years. The study showed that at the 33-month follow-up, the OS with nivolumab was 16.7 months and more than 14 months with sorafenib.

BeiGene Announces Acceptance of a Supplemental New Drug Application for Tislelizumab in Patients with Previously Treated Unresectable Hepatocellular Carcinoma in China
1 July 2020
The Center for Drug Evaluation (CDE) of the China National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) has accepted a supplemental new drug application (sNDA) of BeiGene’s anti-PD-1 antibody tislelizumab for the treatment Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). This decision is based on the results from the Phase 2 trial of tislelizumab of 249 patients with previously treated unresectable HCC. Tislelizumab is a humanized IgG4 anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody specifically designed to minimize binding to FcγR on macrophages, which has been shown to compromise the anti-tumor activity of PD-1 antibodies. BeiGene, Ltd. is a commercial-stage biotechnology company focused on developing and commercializing molecularly targeted and immuno-oncology drugs for the treatment of cancer.

Higher Testosterone Levels Linked to Hepatocellular Carcinoma Risk in Chronic Hepatitis B Infection, Diabetes
24 June 2020
According to a recent study, higher testosterone levels in men with chronic hepatitis B and diabetes have been shown to have an increased incidence of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). Having diabetes doubles the risk of individuals with hepatitis B virus infection of developing HCC. In the retrospective cohort study of 928 men with chronic hepatitis B virus infection and diabetes, researchers found that 8.9% developed HCC at a median of 10.7 years. Among patients with testosterone levels in the upper third of the group showed a cumulative incidence of HCC at 5, 10, and 15 years was 4.4%, 12.4% and 19.1%, respectively. The team concluded that this demonstrates an association between higher total testosterone levels and a higher risk of HCC in men with chronic hepatitis B virus infection and diabetes, and is shown to be stronger in patients over 50 years old, and those not taking antivirals.

Enzo Announces Issuance of U.S. Patent for Methods of Treating Liver Cancer Using Proprietary Compound SK1-I
23 June 2020
Enzo Biochem, Inc. has received a patent for the Sphingosine Pathway Modulating Compounds for the treatment of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) using the company’s proprietary compound SK1-I. Elazar Rabbani, Ph.D., CEO of Enzo Biochem, Inc. said, “our internal studies and the work of others have shown that SK1-I can not only inhibit the growth of various types of cancer cells but can also modulate the activity of immune cells.” SK1-I is a small molecule that specifically inhibits Sphingosine kinase 1. Enzo Biochem is a biosciences and diagnostics company exploring life sciences and intellectual property through the development of unique diagnostic platform technologies.

AMU Scientist, LA Prof Identify Protein Forming Cells Causing Tumour In Liver Cancer
20 June 2020
Agra: an AMU zoologist, Dr. Hifzur r Siddique, in coordination with Prof. Keigo Machida of the University of Southern Cal. LA, has discovered protein forming cancerous cells in the body causing the growth of tumor in the liver. It is either a result of alcohol consumption or hepatitis infection. Their research could be seen as a potential therapeutic target for the drug design and give a direction to the management strategy for this deadly disease. Siddique and Machida discovered the molecular mechanisms of a cancer-causing protein called TBC1D15. Siddique said, “Cancer stem cells are rare cells found in the tumor which are responsible for cancer initiation recurrence, indication and metastasis. Thus, these cells were considered as a root cause of almost all cancer.”

Dr. Huey On Challenges Faced With Immunotherapy In HCC
19 June 2020
Ryan W. Huey, MD, an assistant professor of the Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses the challenges faced with immunotherapy in Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). One such challenge in the HCC space, is a lack of tissue, and therefore the opportunity to find predictive biomarkers is less than it would be in other tumor types, explains Huey. Huey concludes that while some biomarkers in other diseases leave oncologists wanting for a bit more, they can help provide a signal for the rationale for immunotherapy, which is something that is not available in HCC.

Dual Checkpoint Regimen Buoys Prospects For Immunotherapy In HCC
18 June 2020
There has been a recent approval of nivolumab (Opdivo) in combination with ipilimumab (Yervoy) as dual immunotherapy for patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). Anthony B. El-Khoueiry, MD, was the lead author of the CheckMate 040 study, which led to the approval. Previously, the single-agent pembrolizumab was approved for patients with HCC who had been treated with sorafenib, based on results from the KEYNOTE-224 trial. The current study demonstrated the overall response rate (ORR) was 33%, with 4 complete responses (CRs) and 12 partial responses (PRs). The duration of response with the combination immunotherapy was 4.6 months to more than 30.5 months and 31% of responses lasted at least 24 months, thus showing a benefit to the nivolumab monotherapy.

Median Technologies: Ibiopsy®: Promising Results On A Preliminary Study To Evaluate The Risk Of Tumor Recurrence In Patients With Primary Liver Cancer
17 June 2020
Median Technologies has conducted a preliminary retrospective study on the evaluation of the risk of recurrence for patients with primary liver cancer, Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC), based on a non-invasive biomarker using The iBiopsy. Median’s iBiopsy® proprietary imaging platform allows for the extraction of non-invasive imaging biomarkers, which are the disease “signatures.” This was a two-part study involving 94 patients – first to accurately quantify liver fibrosis on CT images, and second, to correlate the score of fibrosis with the risk of recurrence in post-operative patients with HCC. The iBiopsy imaging biomarker discovery platform integrates advanced technologies in artificial intelligence to produce three-dimensional image results.

Patients With HCC Shoulder Economic Burdens, Have Insufficient Therapeutic Options
16 June 2020
A team of researchers led by Abdalla Aly, Ph.D., associate director of U.S. health economics and outcomes research at AstraZeneca, conducted two studies to better understand the toll of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) on patients living with the disease. First, they looked at rates of work absenteeism among patients living with HCC in the U.S. Considering 554 patients the team found that 78.5% had missed work, 47.7% had been on short-term disability, and 11.8% had been on long-term disability. They also reported that absenteeism among patients resulted in lost time worth $1,424 per patient per month. The team then conducted a review of existing scientific literature to see what it revealed about the economic and humanistic burden of the disease. Total treatment costs for payers and patients combined ranged from $11,913 to $16,947 per month.

Study Demonstrates Feasibility Of Hologram Technology In Liver Tumor Ablation
15 June 2020
In a recent study involving 5 patients has shown positive results in the use of augmented reality guidance with electromagnetically tracked tools, and that the technology may help doctors quickly, safely, and accurately deliver targeted liver cancer treatments. The patients were selected for microwave ablation of their liver tumors. The technology provides a three-dimensional holographic view inside a patient's body, allowing interventional radiologists to accurately burn away tumors while avoiding organs and other critical structures. Information is captured into a proprietary augmented reality application, which utilizes Microsoft's HoloLens technology, a virtual reality headset with transparent lenses, to project a segmented hologram of the patient's imaged anatomy directly onto the patient. Post-procedural imaging showed adequate tumor ablation, and none of the patients experienced tumor recurrence at the three-month follow-up.

The Talk: It’s Time To Move From Curative To Palliative Care
15 June 2020
Many physicians confess that they do not typically explain the difference between curative and palliative plans with their patients. Some physicians explain that they avoid discussing end of life planning so that the patient doesn’t get a sense of hopelessness. Palliative care aims to optimize the quality of life and avoid suffering in patients with terminal diseases. Curative care refers to the treatment of the disease. Blue Faery: The Adrienne Wilson Liver Cancer Assoc. team discussed Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) care approaches with physicians, nurses, researchers, and patient advocates. Ineffective curative care robs the patient and their family of quality of life that palliative care may have afforded or enhanced. Doctors should make all options clear for their patients, including end-of-life planning and palliative care for the terminal.

Student-FACULTY Research Team Assessing Early Markers AND Dietary Treatment OF Liver Cancer
12 June 2020
An early indicator of metastatic Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) is non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD). Associate Professor of Chemistry Angela Stoeckman is currently conducting research focused on understanding the dietary influence on markers of metastatic HCC. She explains that while hepatitis B and C are historically a common cause of liver cancer, those instances are decreasing because hepatitis immunizations are becoming more common. However, alcohol- and diet-related conditions are now being linked more strongly to liver cancer. A high-carbohydrate, high-fat diet—that’s especially high in high-fructose corn syrup—has been dubbed the “Western Diet.” NAFLD is a condition that impacts an estimated one in three Americans, and it can progress into HCC, the fastest-growing type of liver cancer globally.

Contrast-Enhanced MRI Shines Light On Liver Cancer Survival
11 Jun 2020
Sébastien Mulé, a radiologist from Henri Mondor University Hospital in Créteil, south-east of Paris, and colleagues have shown that hepatobiliary MR contrast agent uptake can predict survival in patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). The team found that in 32 patients the quantitative analysis of the hepatobiliary phase (HBP) tumor enhancement in gadobenate dimeglumine (Gd-BOPTA)-enhanced MRI accurately identified microvascular invasion (MVI)-positive HCCs. When compared with dual-tracer 18F-FDG and 18F-fluorocholine PET/CT, the contrast-enhanced MRI method performed well for the prediction of tumor aggressiveness and recurrence-free survival (RFS). The team created a lesion-to-liver contrast enhancement ratio (LLCER) and found that an LLCER of -4.72% or less accurately identified patients with poor recurrence-free survival (RFS) after surgical resection.

NIH Scientists Develop Blood Test To Help Improve Liver Cancer Screening
11 June 2020
A team of researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), have developed a new test that can help identify people who are likely to develop Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). The test involves a simple blood test to check for the patient’s previous exposure to certain viruses. “Together with existing screening tests, the new test could play an important role in screening people who are at risk for developing HCC. It could help doctors find and treat HCC early. The method is relatively simple and inexpensive, and it only requires a small blood sample,” said the study’s leader, Xin Wei Wang, Ph.D., co-leader of the NCI Center for Cancer Research (CCR) Liver Cancer Program. The team reasoned that certain interactions between viruses and the immune system may raise the risk of developing HCC. People who have risk factors are recommended to get screened for HCC every six months with ultrasound with or without a blood test for alpha-fetoprotein.

Dr. Musher On Immunotherapy Versus TKIs In HCC
9 June 2020
Benjamin Leon Musher, MD, associate professor of medicine, hematology and oncology, Baylor College of Medicine, discusses immunotherapy versus TKIs in Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) are a type of targeted therapy which are taken orally in the form of pills. Targeted therapy identifies and attacks specific types of cancer cells while causing less damage to normal cells. Immunotherapy is defined as a treatment or prevention of disease that involves the stimulation, enhancement, suppression, or desensitization of the immune system. Patients respond and sometimes tolerate TKIs better than immunotherapy. Immunotherapy may cause problems in patients with compromised liver function.

Genentech Gets FDA Approval For Tecentriq, Avastin Combo For HCC
1 June 2020
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently approved Tecentriq (atezolizumab) in combination with Avastin (bevacizumab) for the treatment of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). Tecentriq and Avastin were both developed by Genentech, a subsidiary of Roche. Tecentriq is a monoclonal antibody designed to inhibit the PD-L1 protein expressed on tumor cells and tumor-infiltrating immune cells, while Avastin is a biologic antibody that can specifically bind to the VEGF protein to interfere with the tumor blood supply. The FDA approval was based on the findings of the phase 3 IMbrave150 study. The combination treatment showed an increase in overall survival (OS) by 42%, and progression-free survival (PFS) by 41%, in comparison to sorafenib. According to Genentech, the Tecentriq, Avastin combination is now the first cancer immunotherapy regimen to have been approved by the FDA for the treatment of HCC.

Ilson Explores Treatment Options For Patients With Metastatic HCC
1 June 2020
David H. Ilson, MD, Ph.D., medical oncologist, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, discusses the treatment options for patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). The first line of treatment is liver resection if the patient’s liver is healthy enough. the REFLECT trial, involving 1000 patients, demonstrated that Lenvatinib was non-inferior to sorafenib in overall survival (OS), but also suggested better progression-free survival (PFS) for lenvatinib, better time to progression, and a higher response rate for lenvatinib over sorafenib. The IMbrave150 trial investigated first-line treatment with atezolizumab [Tecentriq] plus bevacizumab [Avastin], a PD-L1 inhibitor plus bevacizumab versus sorafenib in first-line treatment in 500 patients. The team presented a significant survival benefit for atezolizumab plus bevacizumab versus sorafenib. The 6-month OS rate was 85% for atezolizumab and bevacizumab versus 72% for sorafenib and showed over a 40% reduction in the risk of death. PFS was also improved with a median difference of about 2.5 months.

For past liver cancer news, please visit our Liver Cancer News Archives.

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