Liver Cancer News

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Cabozantinib Plus Atezolizumab Extends PFS For Frontline HCC In COSMIC-312 Trial

28 June 2021

According to the phase 3 COSMIC-312 trial HCC patients who were treated with cabozantinib (Cabometyx) plus atezolizumab (Tecentriq) experienced a statistically significant progression-free survival (PFS) benefit vs those treated with sorafenib (Nexavar). The analysis also showed that the risk of disease progress or death was reduced by 37% with the use of cabozantinib plus atezolizumab versus sorafenib, the current standard of care treatment. Overall survival (OS), one of the primary outcome measurements were assessed and found that while the combination therapy of cabozantinib/atezolizumab showed superiority, the results were not statistically significant.

Genetic Tool Possible Key To Improving Liver Cancer Treatments

24 June 2021

According to Qin Wenxin, a leading scientist in the Shanghai research team, while a growing number of therapies have been approved for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in the past few years, most of them only provide a limited survival benefit. The team is focusing on the idea that genetic screening may unlock the mystery behind why some instances of liver cancer are drug-resistant and help find new targets for medication. Scientists stated that the CRISPR-Cas9 technology has a greater potential for the exploration of the mechanisms involved in therapy resistance, as well as identifying potential targets for therapy.

Sirnaomics Doses First Patient In Phase 1 U.S. Clinical Study Of STP705 For Treatment Of Liver Cancer

24 June 2021

Sirnaomics Inc has published the dose amounts for the first patient in a Phase 1 clinical study for liver cancer treatment. The trial is a multicenter, open-label, dose-escalation and dose-expansion study to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and anti-tumor activity of STP705, the company's siRNA (small interfering RNA) drug candidate. The company has completed several preclinical studies that impede TGF-β1 and COX-2 gene expression which is expected to result in the slowing or stopping of tumor growth.

Study Suggests Better Prediction Model For Selecting Transplant Patients To Treat Liver Cancer

24 June 2021

According to a new study led by a team at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian, reported findings which indicate that a patient’s response to cancer therapy appears to predict whether a liver transplant will cure the patient better than current radiology criteria alone. The team analyzed data on 1,808 men and 428 women and found that classifying patients based on their NYCA Score would place many more patients into the low- or medium-risk categories than existing scores, thus leading to a greater number of them being eligible for transplant without increasing recurrence rates. The team also found that NYCA improved access to transplants for more than 65% of patients who would have been otherwise excluded by other scoring systems.

Genetic Study Of Liver Cancer Reveals New Drug Target

24 June 2021

Scientists have previously discovered several genes that drive the growth of HCC tumors, but treatment benefit from approved drugs is still limited. In the new study, Augusto Villanueva of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and colleagues collected 44 tumor biopsies from 12 HCC patients. The researchers used RNA sequencing to study which genes were more highly expressed in high-grade regions of a tumor and compared them to low-grade regions of the same tumor. They found that cancer testis antigens (CTAs) were recurrently over-expressed in the most aggressive regions of tumors. The team found that CTAs, and especially MAGEA3, are associated with poor prognosis in HCC.

Camrelizumab And Apatinib Shows Long-Term OS Benefit In Advanced HCC

22 June 2021

According to updated results from the RESCUE trial, the combination of camrelizumab and apatinib has shown a long-term survival benefit in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The RESCUE trial was a phase 2, non-randomized, multicenter, open-label study conducted in 25 centers across China. All patients received 250 mg of apatinib orally every day and 200 mg of camrelizumab intravenously every 2 weeks. Currently, patients with advanced HCC, show the 5-year-survival probability is approximately 10% to 18%.

Study Suggests Drinking 3 To 4 Cups Of Coffee A Day Reduces Risk Of Liver Cancer And Disease

22 June 2021

In a study that followed over 494,000 people in the UK for 11 years, reported that drinking between 3 and 4 cups of coffee a day can reduce the risk of liver cancer and disease. Among the participants, the coffee drinkers were 21% less likely to develop chronic liver disease, 20% less likely to develop chronic or fatty liver disease, and 49% less likely to die of chronic liver disease than non-coffee drinkers. The study also found that the people who drank ground coffee saw the most benefits. “However, it’s important that people improve their liver health not just by drinking coffee, but by also cutting down on alcohol and keeping to a healthy weight by exercising and eating well,” explained Vanessa Hebditch, of the British Liver Trust.

Byvasda Shows Promise In Combination With Sintilimab For Patients With HCC

21 June 2021

A combination treatment has reported positive findings for patients with advanced HCC. The combination is of Byvasda, developed by Innovent Biologics and the other is sintilimab, developed by Innovent and Eli Lilly. The ORIENT-32 study is open-label and randomized, 380 patients received the sintilimab-bevacizumab biosimilar combination, while 191 patients received sorafenib. At a median follow-up of 10 months, the median progression-free survival (PFS) was 4.6 months for patients who received the combination treatment, vs 2.8 months for the sorafenib group. Byvasda was approved in China in June 2020. Sintilimab is currently under review by the FDA.

Berry Oncology Partners With Alibaba Health To Create China's Early Cancer Screening Ecosystem

21 June 2021

In the last few years, the frequency and mortality of malignant tumors in China have risen, making it one of the major factors threatening public health. Thus, Berry Oncology Corporation and Alibaba Health have signed a strategic agreement to jointly build a comprehensive cancer screening and prevention system. Their idea is based on a strategy that combines internet connectivity, early cancer screening technology and medical safety. The plan aims to achieve an overall five-year survival rate of at least 43.3% by 2022 and 46.6% by 2030 among cancer patients. Berry Oncology's Project, Prospective Surveillance for Very Early Hepatocellular Carcinoma (PreCar), is the first and only ultra-large-scale, forward-looking cohort study for early-stage liver cancer screening in China based on next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology.

University Of Louisville Receives $11.3 Million From NIH For Liver Research Center

21 June 2021

Research shows that mortality due to cirrhosis has been increasing in the U.S. since 2009, and Kentucky leads the nation in increases in cirrhosis-related deaths and liver cancer-related deaths. Recently, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded the University of Louisville Hepatobiology and Toxicology Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) $11.3 million in funding to support its research into liver-related illness for an additional five years. A current ongoing project is examining how very small membrane-bound compartments, called nanovesicles, that are released by cancer cells, influence immune function in liver cancer.

Hepatic Arterial Infusion Chemotherapy Prolongs OS Vs. Sorafenib In HCC Subset

16 June 2021

A team of researchers recruited 551 patients with advanced HCC to observe the overall survival (OS) of two treatments.  The team found that hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy of FOLFOX (HAIC-FO) treatments showed superior efficacy and OS than sorafenib as the first-line treatment of HCC. Also, results showed median OS was 13.9 months in the HAIC-FO group vs. 8.2 months in the sorafenib group. “HAIC-FO has the advantage of rapid tumor shrinkage within a short period [median time to response, 2.2 months], which has never been reported in the previous studies of standard systematic agents,” stated Ming Zhao, MD, professor of oncology.

HBV Suppression Lowers Liver Cancer Rates In Patients Coinfected With HIV

11 June 2021

According to data from a cohort study, suppression of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection with the use of antiretroviral therapy, reducing the risk for developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) by nearly 60% in patients coinfected with HIV. The researchers used data from 8354 HIV-infected patients with HBV coinfection from the United States and Canada enrolled in the North American AIDS Cohort Collaboration on Research and Design between 1995 and 2016. “This study highlights the importance of testing and regular care for HIV and chronic hepatitis B coinfected individuals as well as the value of programs and strategies that help coinfected individuals maximize antiretroviral adherence to achieve hepatitis B viral suppression,” said senior author Vincent Lo Re III, MD, MSCE, an associate professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at Penn Medicine.

Liver Cancer Patients To Benefit From Microwave Ablation At QAH

9 June 2021

Queen Alexandra Hospital (QAH), located in Portsmouth, England, has introduced a new microwave ablation service to their Diagnostic Imaging Department. Consultant Radiologist, Dr. Christopher Ball, said: “We are delighted to be introducing this new service, not only to improve the experience of our patients but to also benefit the professional development of the Diagnostic Imaging team by learning new skills.” This treatment option is expected to benefit patients with liver cancer. This procedure is used to destroy cancerous cells using heat. It works by disturbing the water molecules to produce heat, which removes the cancer cells. To produce these results, needles are inserted into precise areas in the liver guided by CT or ultrasound imaging.

Hepatocellular Carcinoma & HIV

9 June 2021

Of the four leading risk factors and causal pathways for the development of HCC, hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV) are also risk factors in HIV. It has been shown that HIV worsens HCC, HCC adds risk to HIV, and both are much more likely when HBV or HCV is present. There is an elevated risk among patients living with HIV to progress toward HCC as a comorbidity, the simultaneous presence of two or more diseases or medical conditions in a patient. While the incidence of HIV/AIDS has dropped in the United States due to more effective prevention and awareness, it is still a significant health risk worldwide.

Atezolizumab-Bevacizumab Better Than Sorafenib In Advanced HCC

9 June 2021

In 2018, the FDA approved lenvatinib (Lenvima, Eisai) for unresectable HCC, based on a study that showed noninferiority to sorafenib. The first treatment to improve on sorafenib, as reported in 2020, was the combination of atezolizumab (Tecentriq, Genentech) and bevacizumab (Avastin, Genentech). Richard S. Finn, MD, a professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, and principal investigator for IMBRAVE 150, reported the latest results, that at this point, the objective response rate for participants taking atezolizumab-bevacizumab was 27.3%, compared with 11.9% for those on sorafenib. Also, the median overall survival is 19.2 months for the combination versus 13.4 months for sorafenib.

Surface Oncology, Roche Studying IL-27 Antibody With Tecentriq, Avastin In Liver Cancer 

4 June 2021

Surface Oncology and Roche will be working together to evaluate SRF388, an anti-IL-27 antibody, in combination with Roche’s atezolizumab (Tecentriq) and bevacizumab (Avastin) in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Atezolizumab plus bevacizumab is considered a current standard-of-care treatment in advanced liver cancer patients because it has been shown to improve overall survival. SRF388 has the potential to inhibit the activity of IL-27, an immunosuppressive cytokine that immunosuppresses the tumor microenvironment and may play a role in HCC patients developing resistance to checkpoint inhibitors like atezolizumab. Last year, the US FDA granted SRF388 orphan drug designation and fast track status for the treatment of HCC.

Geneos Therapeutics Announces Clinical Updates On Personalized Cancer Vaccine Program

3 June 2021

GT-30 is a current phase I/II trial of the personalized vaccine, GNOS-PV02, in combination with plasmid pIL-12 and pembrolizumab in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).  As of May 13, 2021, 12 patients had begun treatment in the GT-30 trial and received at least 1 dose of the combination therapy. The current results were reported to show that 3 patients achieved a partial clinical response (PR); 4 patients demonstrated stable disease (SD), and 3 patients had progressive disease (PD); representing an overall response rate (ORR) of 30% and a disease control rate of 70%. The treatment was shown to be generally safe and well-tolerated with no treatment-related serious adverse events noted.

Therasphere Proves Highly Effective In HCC

3 June 2021

On March 18, the FDA approved TheraSphere Yttrium-90 (Y-90) Glass Microspheres, as a treatment for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), based on findings from the LEGACY trial. The trial, which examined 162 adult patients, concluded with a 72.2% overall response rate and showed that 76.1% of patients having a duration of response at least 6 months. Y-90 radioembolization using TheraSphere, injects microscopic glass beads that have a radioactive element inside of them, Y-90, directly into the tumor. Doctors note that HCC receives its blood supply exclusively from the hepatic artery, which can be used to infuse the microspheres.

Ultrasound Technology Developed At U-M Now In Clinical Trials For Liver Cancer

2 June 2021

A technology, called histotripsy, developed by researchers more than 15 years ago, is currently being used in a recent clinical trial technique to mechanically destroy primary and metastatic liver tumors. The University of Michigan will be one of eight sites in the US to enroll patients in the clinical trial.  Previous techniques use heat energy to remove tissues, while histotripsy harnesses the energy of thousands of microbubbles, called cavitation, to emulsify tissue with great precision. A study from the lab by surgeon Clifford Cho, M.D., found that histotripsy ablation increased the effect of checkpoint inhibition immunotherapy in mouse models of HCC.

Investigators Are Exploring Neoadjuvant And Adjuvant Therapy In HCC

2 June 2021

Adjuvant therapy, including tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), has been a point of interest in the HCC setting for some time. Amit Singal, MD, medical director of the Liver Tumor Program and clinical chief of hepatology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, discusses options after surgical resection for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Singal explains that after resection there remains a small portion of the cirrhotic liver, and patients have recurrent disease 50% to 70% of the time within 5 years after surgery. Further, he says that immune checkpoint inhibitors such as atezolizumab (Tecentriq) and bevacizumab (Avastin), have transformed the approach to advanced-stage HCC.  

Neoadjuvant Cemiplimab Induces Tumor Necrosis In Resectable HCC

1 June 2021

According to Parissa Tabrizian, MD, an assistant professor of surgery at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Libtayo (neoadjuvant cemiplimab-rwlc) had a significant impact on tumors in patients with HCC. Libtayo is a monoclonal antibody that targets PD-1. In a recent study, more than 70% of tumor death was seen in 4 of the patients. The study included patients who were eligible for curative resection and had early-stage HCC. “Based on these findings, there is value in incorporating [cemiplimab into the treatment of] patients who are candidates for surgery and have an early-stage disease,” said Tabrizian.

Oncotech Develops AI-Powered Real-Time Mobile Cancer Screening And Detection System

27 May 2021

Ophtascan, developed by Oncotech, is a mobile in-real-time detection system of pre-cancerous and all four levels of cancer conditions and targeted oncological diseases in the human body. By simply using their own smartphone devices, people can photograph their iris, and upload the image to Oncotech's server. Oncotech's AI diagnostic and deep learning system then sends the results back to the user within just 25 seconds. CEO Andre Rafnsson explains, “People will be able to self-diagnose for pre-cancerous and targeted existing cancerous conditions via a smartphone in real-time. The process is quick, on-demand, cost-effective – and does not overload the public health care diagnostic system unnecessarily.”

Once Only Available In Major Cities, Robot-Assisted Liver Cancer Resection Now Performed In RI

27 May 2021

“Faster recovery is vital for cancer patients who need to undergo chemotherapy or other cancer-fighting treatments after surgery,” said Subhashini Ayloo, MD, MPH, FACS is serving as section chief for Brown Surgical Associates' Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery Division.  In April, Dr. Ayloo performed Rhode Island’s first robotic platform hepatectomy, the surgical removal of all or a portion of the liver. This procedure which only requires four tiny incisions is a viable approach to complex procedures enabling patients who need liver resection to avoid the lengthy and painful recovery process that is commonplace with more invasive traditional procedures. During the procedure, the surgeon has a fully magnified crystal clear 3-D view inside the patient’s body through a camera.

Medivir Announces The Design Of Its Upcoming MIV-818 Combination Study

25 May 2021

Medivir will soon begin a phase 1/2a combination study of MIV-818 against liver cancer. MIV-818 is a pro-drug designed to selectively treat liver cancers while minimizing side effects. It has the potential to become the first liver-targeted and orally administered drug for patients with HCC. The study will focus on two combinations, either with lenvatinib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, or pembrolizumab, an anti-PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor. The unique structure of action of MIV-818 makes it appealing to be combined with a multitude of other targeted and non-targeted drugs for the treatment of HCC.

The Role Of Probiotics In Cancer Prevention Receives Increasing Attention

24 May 2021

While a healthy lifestyle is always recommended, in recent years probiotics have received increasing attention for their role in cancer prevention and treatment, including liver cancer. Probiotics can reduce the risk of liver cancer by regulating the intestinal flora to maintain the intestinal epithelial barrier function and preventing the translocation of intestinal bacteria and their derivatives into the body circulation. Probiotics can also prevent liver fat toxicity by improving obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver. Supplementing lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis can improve the liver damage of patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver.

Atezolizumab-Bevacizumab Better Than Sorafenib In Advanced HCC

24 May 2021

Follow-up results, presented at the 2021 Digital Liver Cancer Summit, from the phase 3 IMBRAVE 150 trial show atezolizumab plus bevacizumab maintained superior overall survival (OS) to sorafenib in patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The original trial evaluated 501 patients and concluded OS after one year for patients who received the combination treatment was 67.2%, compared with 54.6% for those who took sorafenib. In the latest results, the median OS is 19.2 months for the combination versus 13.4 months for sorafenib. Additionally, 30% of patients receiving the combined drugs experienced an objective response, including 7.7% who had a complete tumor response. Amit Singal, MD, MS, the clinical chief of hepatology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, in Dallas, began to prescribe atezolizumab and bevacizumab to patients with advanced-stage HCC soon after this combination was approved.

Resection May Be Best Option In Patient Subset With Hepatocellular Carcinoma And PVTT

24 May 2021

According to recent research, patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who develop portal vein tumor thrombosis (PVTT), alternative treatment modalities to systemic therapy may yield optimal survival outcomes. Currently, guidelines suggest that patients with HCC presenting with PVTT receive palliative systemic treatment. In the presence of PVTT, HCC has a greatly reduced prognosis. In a study of 45 patients who were treated with resection, transarterial chemoembolization/selective internal radiation therapy, sorafenib, the patients who received resection had a median overall survival (OS) period of 32.4 months.

Penn Medicine Study Suggests Long-term Suppression Of Hepatitis B In Patients Who Are HIV-coinfected May Lower Cancer Risk

21 May 2021

Research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found that the risk for HCC is much higher for patients who have HIV and detectable hepatitis B. The team found that among participants with HIV and hepatitis B, suppressing detectable hepatitis B infection with the use of antiretroviral therapy cut the risk of developing HCC by 58%. To study the predictors of HCC among people co-infected with HIV and chronic hepatitis B, the team of researchers used data from the North American AIDS Cohort Collaboration on Research and Design, which contains health information spanning two decades. The study authors advise that reducing excessive drinking and using direct-acting antiviral therapy targeted to chronic hepatitis C infection could also help to lower the risk of liver cancer in dually infected people.

Non-Invasive Screening: Innovative Technology May Halt Progression Of Liver Disease To Liver Cancer

20 May 2021

Research shows that the risk of HCC is greater in people with long-term liver diseases and if the liver is scarred by infection with hepatitis B or hepatitis C. Also, about 3-15% of obese patients with NASH, progress to cirrhosis, and 4-27% of NASH with cirrhosis patients transform to HCC. Researchers have found that liver cancer, NAFLD, hepatitis C and liver transplants are prevalent in 40-80% of people who have Type 2 diabetes and in 30-90% of people who are obese. Point-of-care examinations, monitoring and ongoing assessment of liver fat and stiffness can more cost-effectively identify people who do not show symptoms and are undiagnosed for liver damage. When liver disease advances to cirrhosis, the occurrence of HCC is noticeably increased, making it critical to closely monitor HCC.

Fluorescent Dye Helps Guide Pediatric Liver Tumor Resection

20 May 2021

Pediatric surgeons at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital believe a fluorescent dye called indocyanine green (ICG) paired with a near-infrared camera may be useful tools to spare as much healthy tissue as possible while ensuring removal of the entire tumor. Researchers conducted a retrospective study analyzing the results of 14 patients who underwent surgical resection using ICG and a near-infrared camera. Before surgery, the patients were injected with ICG, which is retained in tumor cells, but not healthy cells. The ICG causes the tumors to glow in fluorescent colors on the near-infrared camera during surgery. The ICG also illuminated the edges of the tumors more clearly for successful complete resection.  The team is also working to better understand false positive signals and to improve ICG’s ability to target tumor cells.

Neoadjuvant Cemiplimab Shows Promise As HCC Treatment

19 May 2021

Currently, most HCC tumors recur after hepatic resection and no preoperative intervention has demonstrated an improvement in survival. The multicenter exploratory study (NCT03916627) evaluated whether neoadjuvant cemiplimab (Libtayo) could improve outcomes over hepatic resection in HCC. Before surgery, patients received 2 cycles of neoadjuvant cemiplimab. After surgical resection, patients received an additional 8 adjuvant cycles. Twenty percent of patients met the primary endpoint, 75% of which had a pathological complete response. “This is the largest study to date of PD-1 monotherapy and HCC,” said Thomas Marron, MD, Ph.D.

More Reimbursement Needed For Hepatocellular Carcinoma

14 May 2021

Professor Jang Eun-sun of the Internal Medicine Department at the Seoul National University Hospital discusses the need for reimbursement for HCC testing and treatments. He points out that in Korea, only Nexavar (sorafenib) and Lenvima (lenvatinib) in the first-line treatment and Stivarga (regorafenib) in the second-line treatment is reimbursable. Nexavar got the insurance benefits in 2007, but the reimbursement has not been broadened for over a decade. Additionally, first-line therapy Tecentriq (atezolizumab)+Avastin (bevacizumab) and second-line treatments Cabometyx (cabozantinib) and Cyramza (ramucirumab) are all recommended highly in other countries. Patients with chronic liver disease face cost increases according to the disease progression.

Analysis Correlates Cost Of Therapy With Improvement In Outcomes For Patients With HCC

12 May 2021

According to an economic evaluation, the use of atezolizumab (Tecentriq) plus bevacizumab (Avastin) for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) was considered not to be cost-effective versus sorafenib (Nexavar). For a patient in the US, atezolizumab/bevacizumab was associated with an incremental cost of $156,210. “The findings of this economic evaluation suggest that from the perspective of US payers, atezolizumab plus bevacizumab is unlikely to be cost-effective under current drug pricing at willingness-to-pay thresholds of $100 000 to $150 000 per QALY compared with sorafenib for patients with unresectable or metastatic HCC who have not received systemic therapy,” explained Xin Zhang, MD. Limitations of the study include the unknown long-term effects of atezolizumab and bevacizumab on this patient population.

Oregon State Researchers Discover New Class Of Cancer Fighting Compounds

11 May 2021

A team of researchers at Oregon State University has discovered a new class of anti-cancer compounds that effectively kill liver cancer cells. “Our research identified a therapeutic lead that acts through a new molecular target for the treatment of certain cancers,” said Siva Kolluri, a professor of cancer research. The team employed two molecular screening techniques to discover potential SMARTs and identified a molecule, known as CGS-15943, that activates AR signaling and kills liver cancer cells.

Dr. Patel On Selecting Patients For Treatment With Atezolizumab/Bevacizumab In HCC

11 May 2021

Monica A. Patel, MD, an assistant professor of Hematology, Medical Oncology and Palliative Care at the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, discusses aspects that determine whether a patient with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a good candidate to receive the combination of atezolizumab (Tecentriq) and bevacizumab (Avastin). Based on the results of the phase 3 IMbrave150 trial, the combination significantly improved overall survival in patients with HCC compared with sorafenib (Nexavar). Patel explains that for patients with liver cirrhosis or esophageal, treatment with bevacizumab may not be the best option. Conversely, for patients with a good functional status who can tolerate these agents, atezolizumab/bevacizumab could be a feasible option.

Harbour BioMed Announces Dosing Of First Patient In Australia For Phase Ib/IIa Clinical Study Of Its Next-Generation Anti-CTLA-4 Antibody

11 May 2021

Harbour BioMed has begun part two of phase I (phase Ib/IIa) of an anti-CTLA-4 antibody in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The objective of this study is to assess the safety, tolerability, and anti-tumor activity of HBM4003 as a single agent treatment. HBM4003 is the fully human anti-CTLA-4 monoclonal heavy chain only antibody (HCAb) generated from Harbour Mice. The anti-tumor efficacy and differentiated pharmacokinetics with durable pharmacodynamic effects present a favorable product profile. This new mechanism of action has the potential to improve efficacy while significantly reducing the toxicity of the drug.

Neoadjuvant Libtayo Shows Promise For Patients With Hepatocellular Carcinoma

10 May 2021

According to results from a phase 2a study, taking Libtayo (cemiplimab-rwlc) before surgery led to 20% of patients with resectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) experiencing significant tumor necrosis. Surgery is the recommended first-line treatment for patients with early-stage HCC. Significant tumor necrosis was defined as greater than 70% necrosis of the resected tumor and was reported in four out of 20 patients after treatment with Libtayo. Three patients achieved complete tumor necrosis and seven patients achieved at least 50% tumor necrosis. Dr. Thomas Urban Marron, assistant professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai presented the data at the virtual AACR Annual Meeting 2021.

DOORwaY-90 Study For SIR-Spheres® Therapy As First-Line Treatment For Hepatocellular Carcinoma Enrolls First Patient

10 May 2021

The first patient has been enrolled in DOORwaY-90, a study evaluating the safety and efficacy of selective internal radiation therapy (SIRT) using SIR-Spheres® Y-90 resin microspheres in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). DOORwaY-90 is enrolling patients, with help from Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC), Stage A, B1 and B2 who are not eligible for resection or ablation at the time of study entry. (SIRT) with SIR-Spheres® Y-90 resin microspheres is a treatment for patients with inoperable liver tumors. SIRT is administered to patients via a catheter into the liver arteries that supply blood to the tumors. The radioactive resin microspheres have a diameter between 20–60 microns. By using the tumors' blood supply, the microspheres target liver tumors with a dose of radiation that is up to 40 times higher than conventional radiotherapy, while not damaging the surrounding healthy tissue.

Apatinib As Second-line Or Later Therapy In Patients With Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma (AHELP)

7 May 2021

AHELP was a randomized phase 3 trial conducted at 31 hospitals in China. 400 patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), who had previously been intolerant to at least one line of systemic therapy were observed. Patients were randomly assigned to receive apatinib or a placebo. The primary endpoint was overall survival (OS). Safety analyses were done in patients who received at least one dose of the study treatment and had post-dose safety assessments. Patients in the apatinib group have a median OS of 8.7 months, whereas the placebo group had a median OS of 6.8 months. The team concluded that apatinib significantly improved overall survival in patients, and none of the deaths during the study were related to treatment.

Vuno’s AI Platform Finds Biomarker For Survival Of Liver Cancer Patients

7 May 2021

VUNO Med-PathLab, the AI-using pathology research platform designed by Vuno, has confirmed a biomarker highly associated with the survival rate of liver cancer patients. This comes from the latest research by Vuno and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The platform divides the tissue samples from patients’ classifications such as malignant cells, lymphocytes, mucus, and normal tissues. It analyzes pathological images by detecting and classifying cells. Jung Kyu-hwan, chief technology officer of Vuno, said that the company has quantified digital pathology images to the tissue and cell level with deep learning technology.

Tiziana Announces Strategic Initiative For Further Clinical Development Of Milciclib In Patients With Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma

5 May 2021

Tiziana Life Sciences has completed an agreement with Takanawa Japan K.K, Pharma Team for further clinical development of Milciclib for treatment in advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients. Tiziana had previously completed a Phase 2 clinical trial with Milciclib in sorafenib-resistant or intolerant HCC patients. Recently, a patent for the use of Milciclib in combination with a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) or other drugs was granted. The granted claims provide complete freedom to further develop a combination of Milciclib with an approved TKI for the treatment of patients with advanced HCC.

How Tumor Cells Control Their Environment To Survive

3 May 2021

Cancer occurs when cell growth cannot be controlled and cells grow in places they should not be naturally, which results in a clump of cancer cells called a tumor. A team of researchers at the National Cancer Institute developed a new way to analyze liver cancers for how different each cell tumor is from another by measuring the diversity of their genetic code. They found that liver tumor cells were controlling something called vascular endothelial growth factor A VEGFA in the environment around the cell. VEGFA’s main job is to signal to the body when a cell needs oxygen, and by controlling this, the tumor cells can ensure a constant supply of oxygen for themselves. The team discovered that the most aggressive liver cancers have a higher amount of VEGFA.

Landmark Study Launched To Detect Liver Cancer Early In Singapore

3 May 2021

This investigator-initiated multi-center study led by the National Cancer Centre of Singapore (NCCS) called early detection of HCC: miRNA, microbiome and imaging biomarkers in the evolution of chronic liver disease in a high-risk prospective cohort (ELEGANCE), addresses the unmet need for screening of individuals at high risk of developing HCC. The ELEGANCE study plans to enroll patients at high risk of developing HCC to develop a more precise clinical tool to diagnose HCC at an early stage and predict which individuals are at the highest risk. The study will also focus on how the microbiome and metabolome change with disease development and identify potential therapeutic targets that may slow disease progression and reduce the risks of developing cancer. In Singapore, HCC is the third and fourth most common cause of cancer deaths among males and the fourth most common in females.

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