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Radio-Wave Therapy Proves Effective Against Liver Cancer Cells
31 May 2019
A recent study shows that a new targeted therapy using non-thermal radio waves can block the growth of liver cancer cells anywhere in the body without damaging healthy cells. The study was conducted by scientists at Wake Forest School of Medicine, part of Wake Forest Baptist Health. Using animal models, the research team headed by Boris Pasche, M.D., Ph.D., chair of cancer biology and director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Wake Forest Baptist, delivered levels of radio frequencies to mice that had been injected with human cancer cells to replicate Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). The AM RF EMF activated a calcium channel on the surface of HCC tumor cells but not on noncancerous cells, explained Pasche who invented the device in collaboration with Alexandre Barbault, of TheraBionic GmbH in Ettlingen, Germany.

Discovery May Mead To Natural Ent-Kaurane Diterpenoid For NK-Based Tumor Immunotherapy
30 May 2019
Natural killer (NK) cells play a significant role in the control of transformed cells at the tumor initiation stage through direct cytolysis, or cell disruption. NK cell-based immunotherapy is a potential therapeutic strategy. Research groups led by Prof. LI Yan and Prof. Puno Pematenzin from the Kunming Institute of Botany of the Chinese Academy of Sciences found that ent-kaurane diterpenoids, which show antitumor activity, are good candidates as sensitizer agents for NK cells. The results show that the natural ent-kaurane diterpenoid parvifoline AA (PAA) stimulates the expression of NKG2D ligands on Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) cells, considerably enhancing their recognition and disintegration by NK cells.

Sorafenib Plus Chemo Combo Shows Benefit In Advanced HCC, But Phase III Trial Not Warranted
24 May 2019
A recent study showed that the combination of sorafenib plus gemcitabine and oxaliplatin (GEMOX), was more beneficial compared with sorafenib monotherapy in patients with advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). Unfortunately, the study authors, led by Eric Assenat, MD, PhD, of the Université de Montpellier, Montpellier, France, determined a phase III trial was not warranted. 94 patients were randomized in their initial trial. The secondary objectives of this trial, conducted at 10 centers in France, included evaluating the safety of the experimental regimen.

Studying The Function Of Liver Cancer Genes In Mini-Organs
23 May 2019
Researchers from the Hubrecht Institute and Radboud University have developed a human model in which they use organoids, or mini organs, to study the function of specific genes that are mutated in liver cancer. Organoids are mini organs that can be grown in the lab from a very small piece of tissue derived from a variety of organs. They found that mutations in BAP1, a gene commonly mutated in liver cancer, changes the behavior of the cells, which may make them more likely to be invasive. Studying the mutations in tumor formation is especially important in liver cancer.

The Medical City Offers Treatment Options For All Stages Of Liver Cancer
23 May 2019
Microwave Ablation (MWA) is a technology that destroys tumors using heat generated by microwave energy. MWA uses electromagnetic waves. This is the most widely recognized in the treatment of hepatic and renal malignancies. It is like radio frequency ablation (RFA). MWA produces higher temperatures than RFA, which allows for a more complete thermal ablation in a shorter period. Image-guided tumor ablation is a treatment that can fight a wide range of tumors throughout the body. MWA was introduced by The Medical City in 2017.

Expert Breaks Down Latest Advances With Locoregional Therapies In HCC
21 May 2019
With the help of technological advances in interventional radiology, patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) have been able to receive more accurate treatment delivery, which has led to stronger responses, said Emil Cohen, MD, an assistant professor at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital. The current standard care is transarterial chemoembolization. If the tumor is small enough, doctors recommend percutaneous ablation. For patients that are not eligible for transplant, radioembolization, external beam radiation, aggressive resection, or a combination of these are offered. In the past 5 years, microwave ablation has become more popular, since it is not as susceptible to some of the limitations that are often experienced with radiofrequency ablation.

Dr. Musher On Investigational Combination Therapies In HCC
15 May 2019
The ongoing phase III IMbrave150 trial, which combines the VEGF inhibitor bevacizumab (Avastin) with the PD-L1 inhibitor atezolizumab (Tecentriq) is showing promise according to Benjamin Leon Musher, MD, associate professor of medicine, hematology and oncology, at Baylor College of Medicine. If the study does well there will be several frontline options to choose from. Strategies with immunotherapy, including CAR T-cell therapy, are also under investigation. The advantage with immunotherapy is that if patients achieve a response, the responses are durable, adds Musher. This, alongside biomarkers, will help guide treatment decisions one way or another.

Lilly’s Cyramza Gets FDA Nod For Second-Line Liver Cancer
14 May 2019
Eli Lilly and Company announced that the FDA has granted approval to its already approved cancer drug, Cyramza for the second-line treatment of patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). Their decision was based on the data from the REACH -2 study, which evaluated the benefit of Cyramza as a single agent in HCC patients who were intolerant to or experienced disease progression after treatment with Amgen/Bayer’s Nexavar. The data from the study showed that treatment with Cyramza in combination with erlotinib significantly delayed disease progression in previously untreated patients.

How Liver Protein Can Aid In Developing Vaccine For Hepatitis C
13 May 2019
Researchers have identified small differences in a liver cell protein that can facilitate the development of a mouse model of chronic hepatitis C (HCV). Mice which were genetically engineered to produce human proteins called cyclophilin A, and with suppressed immune systems can be infected with HCV. “When we put this ‘humanized’ version of mouse cyclophilin A into liver cancer cells that normally do not replicate HCV, we saw increases in viral replication,” said Jenna Gaska, a graduate student at Princeton University. Different versions of cyclophilin A were tested in mouse liver cells which also contained several other proteins required for HCV entry and replication.

The Future Of HCC Management
13 May 2019
Riccardo Lencioni, MD states that Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) is a unique cancer in that even those patients who are suitable candidates for radical therapy with resection or ablation are exposed to a very high rate of tumor recurrences. Unfortunately, outcomes are unsatisfactory in the long term. Lencioni believes that ongoing studies combining the best locoregional approaches with ablation, or chemoembolization, or radioembolization and the checkpoint inhibitors will try to clarify whether there is a synergy between these 2 therapies. These trials hope to offer more patients a chance for cure, or at least for a sustained response.

Abivax And Scripps Research Announce FDA Approval To Initiate A Phase 1/2 Clinical Trial With ABX196 In Patients With Hepatocellular Carcinoma
13 May 2019
Abivax, a clinical-stage biotechnology company, has been collaborating with Scripps Research to develop novel treatments which harness the power of the immune system. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted an investigational new drug (IND) application for ABX196, which showed potent efficacy in HCC animal models. The open IND allows Abivax to test ABX196 in combination with nivolumab (Opdivo), a checkpoint inhibitor, in a first Phase 1/2 clinical trial to treat patients with HCC. ABX196, both alone and in combination with a checkpoint inhibitor, showed a significant therapeutic effect in reducing tumor growth as measured by MRI and increasing survival in mice with HCC.

Enzo Biochem (ENZ) Issued U.S. Patent For Treatment Of Liver Cancer Using Ozanimod
10 May 2019
Enzo Biochem, Inc. has announced that U.S. Patent approval entitled “Sphingosine Pathway Modulating Compounds for the Treatment of Cancers” that is directed to methods for treating Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) using the compound Ozanimod. Elazar Rabbani, CEO of Enzo stated, “Our findings with Ozanimod provide further validation for targeting the sphingosine pathway in Hepatocellular Carcinoma and complement our current program to develop Enzo’s proprietary sphingosine kinase inhibitor, SK1-I, for the treatment of HCC. Animal xenotransplantation studies examining the efficacy of each of SK1-I and Ozanimod against tumors derived from human liver cancer cells are currently in progress.”

MR Imaging Evaluation Of Hepatocellular Carcinoma Treated With SBRT
10 May 2019
According to a study, a standard response assessment such as modified Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (mRECIST) should be used with caution after stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) therapy, so that treatment response is not misinterpreted. The study also shows that arterial phase hyperenhancement (APHE) is a key feature of untreated or recurrent Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). The study was conducted to determine the natural history of imaging findings seen by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of HCC treated with SBRT. Within the first 12 months after SBRT, size decreased in 66% of treated tumors.

Ramucirumab for Patients with AFP-High Hepatocellular Carcinoma Granted FDA Approval
10 May 2019
The FDA have approved ramucirumab (Cyramza), developed by Eli Lilly, as a single agent in certain patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). The approval is based on data from the REACH-2 clinical trial evaluating the drug in 292 patients with advanced HCC with alpha fetoprotein (AFP) greater than or equal to 400 ng/mL who had disease progression on or after sorafenib or were intolerant. “Advanced liver cancer is an aggressive disease that has a poor prognosis – and for those with elevated AFP levels, the prognosis is even more dismal,” explained Levi Garraway, MD, PhD, senior vice president of global development and medical affairs at Lilly Oncology.

Highland Scientist’s Liver Cancer Therapy Passes Clinical Trials
9 May 2019
Jun Wei, a professor of genetics at the Inverness-based University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI), has devised a kit to screen blood bank stock for samples which have high levels of a cancer-fighting antibody. Plasma containing the required high levels of the antibody can then be infused into patients to kill liver cancer cells. Clinical trials have showed that patients who received the new therapy survived for an average of one year longer than those who received conventional treatment. “This is a promising immunotherapy for cancer treatment with anticancer antibodies from our own blood,” said Wei. Qingdao Hailanshen Biotechnology has been supporting these clinical trials for over three years.

Hepatic Arterial Infusion Of Chemotherapy Improves OS In Hepatocellular Carcinoma Subset
9 May 2019
According to a phase III trial, patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma and portal vein invasion achieved longer overall survival (OS) with the addition of hepatic arterial cell infusion of FOLFOX to sorafenib. Previous trial shave shown that sorafenib alone has a median OS of 5.5 to 7.2 months. MinKe He, MD, of the department of hepatobiliary oncology at Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China and his team evaluated the safety and efficacy of hepatic arterial infusion of FOLFOX (oxaliplatin, fluorouracil and leucovorin) plus sorafenib vs. sorafenib monotherapy among 247 patients.

Liver Cancer Breakthrough At The Hormel Institute
7 May 2019
Dr. Ningling Kang, head of the Tumor Microenvironment and Metastasis lab at The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota and team analyze protein’s role in creating a tumor-promoting microenvironment. In their study they describe the importance of a protein that helps make the liver a good environment for tumor growth. Through recruitment of the cancer cells, hepatic stellate cells integrate into the tumor mass to become tumor-promoting myofibroblasts. The research group identified that a nuclear protein called p300 is required for the TGF-beta induced transition of hepatic stellate cells to tumor-promoting myofibroblasts.

Percutaneous Ablation Vs. Surgery For Hepatocellular Carcinoma
7 May 2019
According to a recent study, percutaneous liver ablation interventions (IRs) in patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) are associated with lower in hospital mortality, length of hospital stays (LOS), and hospitalization costs as compared to surgery. A total of 557,071 hospitalizations in patients with HCC from 2002 to 2015 were extracted from the National Inpatient Sample database. This included 13,618 IRs and 44,629 surgical procedures performed. The results of the study results showed IR was associated with 78% lower in-hospital mortality, 37% higher routine discharge to home, 67% lower LOS, and 71% lower cost.

Can-Fite Moves Forward With Advanced Liver Cancer Therapy
6 May 2019
The FDA granted both orphan drug designation and fast track status to Namodenoson, an advanced liver cancer therapy candidate from Can-Fite BioPharma. liver cancer therapy candidate from Can-Fite BioPharma, according to a press release. Can-Fite recently announced results from a phase 2 study of Namodensson, in which the therapy increased overall survival in patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). Namodenoson is a small orally bioavailable drug that binds to the A3 adenosine receptor. Despite not meeting the phase 2 primary endpoint, Can-Fite has a meeting with the FDA to review a plan for a phase 3 clinical trial.

Aflatoxins: A Cause Of Hepatocellular Carcinoma
30 April 2019
The most common cause of Hepatocellular Carcinoma are aflatoxins. Aflatoxins are the byproducts of fungi that are found on agricultural crops like maize, peanut, cottonseed and tree nuts. There are more than 14 types of aflatoxins but AFB1, B2, G1, G2 are more common and carcinogenic to human and animals. When aflatoxin amounts increase, and when is a continuous exposure, this will cause AFBO to bind to the proteins and cause necrosis of the hepatocytes which can lead to cirrhosis. AFBO binds to DNA, which leads to genetic change in the target cell and causes DNA strand breakage. DNA base damage and oxidative damage ultimately leads to cancer.

Deals And Data In The Offing For Oncimmune
25 April 2019
The London-listed diagnostics group Oncimmune, is focusing on growing sales, and is looking forward to publishing trial data soon. They are looking to use the immune system to diagnose cancer. Oncimmune sells EarlyCDT-Liver to detect Hepatocellular Carcinoma and has tests for many other cancers as well. Their current trial data involves the EarlyCDT-Lung cancer test. Oncimmune has an agreement with Genostics, in which Genostics has licensed the entire EarlyCDT portfolio.

Most Patients Stick With Milciclib In Tiziana Life Sciences Study
24 April 2019
The biotechnology firm, Tiziana Life Sciences PLC, has reposted data from its clinical trial involving milciclib in patients with advanced liver cancer. 80% of patients who completed treatment within the phase 2a trial have requested continuation of the treatment. A safety review stated, the treatment “was not associated with unexpected signs or signals of toxicity” when administered to patients with advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Ten patients were administered Milciclib over a six-month study period. “Demonstration of safety and clinical activity is important milestone to move forward with strategic options for further clinical development of milciclib either as a single agent or in combination with one of the [US Food & Drug Administration] approved drugs for treatment of [Hepatocellular Carcinoma] patients,” said Tiziana Chief Executive & Chief Scientific Officer Kunwar Shailubhai.

Using Yttrium-90 For Liver Cancer Therapy In Clinical Stage
24 April 2019
Radioembolization (Y90) is a minimally invasive procedure that combines embolization and radiation therapy to treat liver cancer. Tiny glass or resin beads filled with the radioactive isotope yttrium Y-90 are placed inside the blood vessels that feed a tumor. Pars Isotop Company is the main producer of the new radiopharmaceutical. Y-90 resin microspheres has been tested on 12 patients with liver cancer, with the help of Tehran and Shiraz Medical Sciences Universities. Radiopharmaceuticals can be used as diagnostic and therapeutic agents. Radiopharmaceuticals, or medicinal radiocompounds, are a group of pharmaceutical drugs which have radioactivity.

Urine-Based Liquid Biopsy For Non-Urological Cancers
23 April 2019
Advances in technology and science, now use less invasive blood liquid biopsy for the study of cancer genetics. Early research was limited to tissue specimens obtained from invasive biopsy and surgical resections. Molecular biomarker research and show that tumor-derived DNA in the circulation can be detected in urine. Using Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) as a study model, scientists further demonstrated the detection of ctDNA in the urine. The data results show that the HMW urine DNA was mostly derived from the sloughed-off cell debris of the urinary tract, and the LMW urine DNA was mostly derived from the circulation that was enriched for tumor-derived DNA alterations if a tumor was present.

What’s The Most Cost-Effective Imaging Method For Diagnosing, Monitoring HCC Patients?
22 April 2019
According to a study published in the American Journal of Roentgenology. CT diagnosis and surveillance of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) is the most cost-effective imaging-based strategy. North American guidelines currently recommend ultrasound (US) surveillance every six months in patients at risk for HCC. According to Lima et al., strategies that rely solely on a single exam for surveillance and diagnosis, such as strategy E, are more likely to have higher rates of false-positive diagnoses. “Before implementing a surveillance program incorporating imaging modalities other than ultrasound, future studies should address the economic burden associated with false-positive HCC diagnoses. Also, future prospective trials should assess the accuracy of abbreviated MRI examinations in a surveillance setting,” the authors concluded.

Research Closer To Finding Ways To Help Patients With Hepatitis
20 April 2019
MicroRNA are small, single-stranded non-coding RNAs that regulate T-cell immunity by targeting key factors, signaling and proteins and cytokines associated with T-cell activation, differentiation, and function. T-cell immunity plays a vital role in pathogen infections. Although the host innate immune system senses and responds to eliminate it, the hepatitis C virus evades the onslaught and establishes persistent infection in the liver. The immune system has developed two areas, innate and adaptive immunity. They work together to prevent infection and limit the damage done by invading bugs. While, liver resection remains the popular treatment for Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC), the aim of this study was to explore alterations of immune cells in HCC patients with liver resections. Regulatory T-cells are shown to increase the peripheral blood in HCC.

100 Patients From Odisha Undergo Liver Transplant At Gleneagles Global Hospital Hyderabad
20 April 2019
Lakdi-ka-pul is currently host to one of the busiest and comprehensive liver disease management programs. The center performs adult as well as pediatric liver transplants. So far, they have performed over 700 liver transplants which includes over 100 pediatric liver transplants. The hospital has exclusive liver (Intensive Care Unit) ICU and liver (Occupational Therapy) OT. The visionary leader and well acclaimed surgeon and Chairman of Gleneagles Global Hospitals, Dr. K. Ravindranath dreamt to set up world-class multi organ transplant centers in India and collaborated with Kings College hospital in London. “If any of the liver tests are abnormal, then they definitely indicate the need for additional evaluation” he stated.

AGA Clinical Practice Update: DAAs For Hepatitis C And Hepatocellular Cancer
19 April 2019
The American Gastroenterological Association collected evidence describing interactions between oral direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapy for hepatitis C and hepatocellular cancer regarding incidence, recurrence, and efficacy. DAA treatments are associated with reduced incidence of hepatocellular cancer and relative reduction is similar for patients with and without cirrhosis. For patients with cirrhosis, achieving sustained virologic response, hepatocellular cancer incidence and hepatocellular cancer survival was similar between DAA-treated patients and interferon-treated patients. Conflicting studies fail to show conclusive data that DAA therapy is associated with differential time-to-recurrence, decreased or increased risk, or recurrent hepatocellular cancer aggressiveness in patients who achieve complete response to hepatocellular cancer therapy. DAA therapy should not be withheld from these patients, but DAA therapy can be deferred for 4 to 6 months to confirm therapy response Patients will also require indefinite surveillance every 3 to 6 months with dynamic contrast enhanced computerized tomography or magnetic resonance imaging.

Liquid Biopsy: An Old Concept With A New Twist
18 April 2019
A liquid biopsy is a simple noninvasive alternative to tissue biopsies, in which a body fluid specimen is obtained for detailed laboratory analyses. A liquid biopsy for cancer detection or management is an old concept with a new twist. Tumor cells were first found in circulation in the late 19th century, and the term “cell-free DNA (cfDNA),” which referred to fragmented DNA found outside cells in the blood, was first reported by Mandel and Metais in 1948. Then, work in the 1970s revealed that patients with cancer tended to have an increased concentration of cfDNA in their blood. A study by Cohen and his team of scientists used a test called CancerSEEK that showed promise for cancer screening by liquid biopsies. Their cohort involved more than 1000 patients with cancer. Their findings suggested that individuals who test positive twice by liquid biopsy should undergo imaging to find the tumor site.

Real-Life Experiences Demonstrate Benefit Of Sorafenib-Regorafenib Sequential Therapy In Advanced HCC
18 April 2019
Patients with advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) demonstrated real-life benefit in a study with sorafenib (Nexavar) followed by regorafenib (Stivarga). Overall survival (OS) benefit with the sequence of targeted therapies was significant when calculated from the initiation of first-line treatment. Findings from the phase III RESORCE trial led to the approval in April 2017 of regorafenib as a second-line therapy for patients with unresectable HCC who had previously received treatment with sorafenib. Patients with HCC who received regorafenib after progression on sorafenib treatment demonstrated a median OS of 10.6 months.

Celsion Corporation Announces Issuance Of New Patent For Thermodox®
17 April 2019
Celsion Corporation, a clinical stage oncology drug development company, announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has granted U.S. Patent No. 10,251,901 B2 – Thermosensitive Nanoparticle Formulations and Method of Making the Same. This new patent strengthens the coverage of ThermoDox®, Celsion’s heat-activated liposomal platform technology, currently in Phase III development for the treatment of primary liver cancer. The Company’s 556-patient global Phase III OPTIMA Study in HCC completed enrollment in August 2018 at 65 clinical sites in North America, Europe, China, S. Korea, Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

New Role For Innate Immune Sensor: Suppressing Liver Cancer
16 April 2019
UT Southwestern researchers have found that a protein in the body’s innate immune system that responds to gut microbes can suppress the most common type of liver cancer. They have shown that NLRP12, an innate immune sensor, has a protective effect against Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). In this study, we demonstrated that NLRP12 responds to gut microbes and plays a critical role in suppressing a common form of liver cancer,” said Dr. Hasan Zaki, Assistant Professor of Pathology at UT Southwestern and corresponding author of the study. To understand why this occurred, the researchers looked at the signals sent by tumor cells in mice with and without the NLRP12 gene. Dr. Zaki said his team is now further exploring the precise mechanism through which NLRP12 regulates the JNK pathway.

Some Patients May Be Eligible For Liver Resection After SIRT
16 April 2019
Researchers have reported that patients that have undergone selective internal radiotherapy (SIRT) with yttrium-90 (Y-90) may be eligible for liver resection. To better understand the circumstances in which resection is possible, the investigators reviewed data on all patients who underwent liver resection following SIRT. There were 12 patients who were treated with SIRT followed by liver resection, 5 of which had HCC. According to RECIST (response evaluation criteria in solid tumors), there was a partial response shown in all cases. “In selected cases, liver resection is possible post SIRT. As this can represent a potentially curative option, it is important to reconsider resection in the follow-up of patients undergoing SIRT,” the researchers said.

Cancer ‘Vaccine Factories,’ Cataloguing DNA Weaknesses, NHS Drug Decisions And Cancer Sniffing Canines
13 April 2019
Scientists from the Wellcome Sanger Institute in Cambridge are building a list of the most promising potential cancer drug targets. The team is using the DNA-editing tool CRISPR to switch off every gene, one-by-one, in over 300 different types of lab-grown cancer cells. So far, they’ve ranked 600 promising drug targets. Immune-boosting combo could help create cancer ‘vaccine factories.’ Scientists in the US are investigating the potential benefits of a highly purified version of the chilli compound capsaicin in slowing cancer spread. A trio of beagles were trained to ‘sniff out cancer.’ The dogs were able to pick out patients with lung cancer that had spread to other parts of the body with a 96.7% accuracy.

FDA Approves Expanded Monotherapy Label For Merck’s KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab)
12 April 2019
In the Phase 3 KEYNOTE-042 trial KEYTRUDA monotherapy demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in OS compared with chemotherapy alone in patients. The study was a randomized, multi-center, open-label, active-controlled and enrolled 1,274 patients. KEYTRUDA is indicated for the treatment of patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) who have been previously treated with sorafenib. The recommended dose of KEYTRUDA is 200 mg as an intravenous infusion over 30 minutes every three weeks up to 24 months.

New Cancer Vaccine Study Has Similarities To U Of R Research
12 April 2019
New York Mount Sinai Hospital tested the new vaccine on 11 patients who have advanced stage lymphoma and has shown to be successful. The vaccine is used in people who already have cancer. Immune stimulants are injected directly into a tumor to teach the immune system to destroy it. Some patients had full remission from months to years. The study was published earlier this month in Nature Medicine. “This is very different from a preventative vaccine,” said Dr. Patrick Reagan, assistant professor of medicine at URMC. “This is a vaccine where we are actually trying to stimulate your immune system to attack the cancer.” The vaccine is also being tested in the lab for liver cancer.

Ledipasvir/Sofosbuvir ± Ribavirin Effective, Safe In HCV With Advanced Liver Disease
11 April 2019
A recent study involving multiple centers found that Ledipasvir and Sofosbuvir with or without Ribavirin is an effective and tolerable treatment in patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infection with advanced liver disease. The study involved 200 patients with chronic hepatitis C with advanced liver disease to determine the association of ledipasvir and sofosbuvir treatment with a new occurrence and/or recurrence of HCC during and after antiviral treatment. HCC recurrence was less common in patients who received curative treatment for HCC compared with those who received noncurative treatment.

Can-Fite Announces Late-Breaking Abstract Presentation On Namodenoson™ Phase II Results At ASCO
10 April 2019
Can-Fite BioPharma Ltd., a biotechnology company, just completed a multicenter Phase II trial in patients with advanced liver cancer. The trial was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial evaluating efficacy and safety of namodenoson (CF102). Namodenoson is a small orally bioavailable drug that binds with high affinity and selectivity to the A3 adenosine receptor (A3AR). A3AR is highly expressed in diseased cells whereas low expression is found in normal cells. Namodenoson has been granted Orphan Drug Designation in the U.S. and Europe and Fast Track Designation as a second line treatment for HCC by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Namodenoson has also shown proof of concept to potentially treat other cancers as well.

Discovery Of A Host mRNA That Inhibits Immune Functions Of Antiviral Protein RIG-I
10 April 2019
A group of scientists at Kanazawa University investigated the effects of SeP on antiviral immune responses in the liver, using cultured cells, mice and clinical specimens. They found that HCV infection augmented SeP expression in cultured cells. By analyzing clinical specimens, it was found that serum SeP levels were higher in HCV-infected patients. RIG-I protein was thought only to recognize RNAs of pathogens invading cells thus protecting against pathogens. So far, very few host mRNAs have been reported acting like SeP mRNA, which functions as a ‘decoy’ to bind RIG-I thus repressing its functions. This information is important for understanding immune tolerance in the liver and autoimmune diseases. The study is expected to lead to further investigations of host RNAs regulating RIG-I and to the development of clinical application targeting such mRNAs.

The Protein P38gamma Identified As A New Therapeutic Target In Liver Cancer
10 April 2019
A recent research study conducted by a team of researchers at the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares (CNIC) led by Guadalupe Sabio has discovered an enzyme that could become a new pharmacological target in the treatment of liver cancer. They have shown an important role for p38gamma in the initiation of cell division in the liver, and that p38gamma and CDK2 both act as a tumor suppressor. To test whether p38gamma is implicated in cell division, study first author Antonia Tomás-Loba examined the outcome of chemically inducing liver cancer in mice that lack the enzyme. Her results were very promising.

Peripheral Neuropathy Reported In Liver Cancer Drug Stivarga
9 April 2019
The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety plans to review the European Commission’s safety information about Stivarga (regorafenib). A patient reported peripheral neuropathy while taking Stivarga. Peripheral neuropathy causes infections in peripheral nerves at the tips of fingers and toes and makes them feel numb. In severe cases, patients find it difficult to walk, and experience a poor sense of balance. Result from the RESORCE trial on 573 patients in 21 countries showed the median overall survival of patients who used Stivarga after Nexavar treatment was 26 months. Stivarga was developed by Bayer as a potent in liver cancer treatment.

Personalized T Cells Destroy Common Liver Cancer
9 April 2019
Researchers have engineered hepatitis B virus-specific T cells, a type of immune cell found in the body, to treat Hepatocellular Carcinoma. The t-cells were then individualized to the patient. The team successfully performed the approach on two liver transplanted patients who had hepatitis B virus (HBV) associated liver cancer recurrence. “In this study we showed that the integrated HBV-DNA gene components in the HCC cells were able to activate functional HBV-specific T cells,” says senior coauthor Antonio Bertoletti, a professor from the emerging infectious diseases program at Duke-NUS Medical School. The researchers plan to further refine the technique and treatment strategy with further research and trials to improve the efficacy of the therapy.

Blue Faery Grants Liver Cancer Research Award
8 April 2019
This year Blue Faery: The Adrienne Wilson Liver Cancer Association announced their winner of the Blue Faery Award (BFA) for Excellence in Liver Cancer Research was given to Dr. Jinsil Seong, Professor at Yonsei University Medical College. Professor Seong is one of a few who pioneered radiotherapy of Hepatocellular Carcinoma. She has devoted her entire career on radiotherapy of HCC by practicing, educating and pursuing clinical research. Upon receiving the BFA Dr. Jinsil Seong stated, “I am truly honored and impressed to join world leaders in [the] HCC field who won the award previously. This encourages me to keep going forward for [a] better future of our HCC patients!” She is currently the president-elect of the Asia Pacific Primary Liver cancer Expert (APPLE) association, which is a world leading liver cancer association.

U.S. Liver Cancer Deaths More Common With Less Education
8 April 2019
In a recent observational study, researchers collected data from the year 2000 through 2015. They found that nationwide, liver cancer death rates rose from 7.5 to 11.2 fatalities for every 100,000 men, and from 2.8 to 3.8 fatalities for every 100,000 women. These patients were between 25 and 74 years old. In men, however, the increases only occurred among those without a college degree. Among women, liver cancer death rates rose across all education levels, with the smallest increase for college-educated women. Risk of dying from liver cancer can mitigated if a person has a better job, better insurance, or a healthier lifestyle.

TGen Finds Gene Associated With Most Common Liver Cancer
7 April 2019
Dr. Johanna DiStefano, head of the Diabetes and Fibrotic Disease Unit at Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and researchers provide experimental evidence supporting the AKR1B10 enzyme as a promising therapeutic target for HCC. This gene was first identified and characterized in 1998. AKR1B10 has a conflicting role in HCC development and progression. An over-expression may indicate a patient has HCC, and the suppression of this gene may also be a way to stop cancer progression. AKR1B10 has emerged as a potential biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of HCC, studies show this enzyme also plays a role in the development and progression of HCC.

Hormone That Protects Women From Liver Cancer
6 April 2019
Guadalupe Sabio at the Spanish National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC) in Spain and staff have have discovered that a hormone that if present at higher levels in women, can keep them away from liver cancer. Their study also suggests that the disease is more common in men. Using mouse models, they found that inhibiting testosterone production in males, increased their adiponectin levels and reduced tumor growth. Most importantly, their study showed that adiponectin and metformin, a common antidiabetic drug, could be used as novel treatments for liver cancer.

 

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