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Blue Faery: The Adrienne Wilson Liver Cancer Association

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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.

ODAC Opposes Ongoing FDA Approval of Nivolumab For HCC In Patients Pretreated With Sorafenib
29 April 2021
The FDA’s Oncologic Drug Advisory Committee decided to discontinue the accelerated approval of nivolumab for the treatment of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In September of 2017, the FDA granted accelerated approval to nivolumab based on a 154-patient subgroup of the CHECKMATE-040. Results of the study found that the overall survival benefit nivolumab had over sorafenib was not statistically significant. “The data is not there, and it does not sound like there is a trial planned that will yield more data… While I believe there may be individuals [who] benefit, I don’t think the data is there for the population as a whole” said Anthony D. Sung, MD, assistant professor of Medicine at Duke University School of Medicine.

Atezolizumab/Bevacizumab Combo Sets the Standard for New Doublets in Advanced HCC
29 April 2021
According to Amit Singal, MD, the combination of atezolizumab (Tecentriq) and bevacizumab (Avastin) has become the frontline standard of care for most patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). He further explains that HCC is one of the few tumors doctors do not biopsy, diagnosis is based on imaging. With the updated analysis of the IMbrave150 trial, the combination improves survival significantly and now has a point estimate for what doctors can anticipate the median survival to be.

ODAC Unanimously Backs Pembrolizumab for Second-line Advanced HCC
29 April 2021
The FDA’s Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee (ODAC) recently voted to support the accelerated approval of pembrolizumab (Keytruda) monotherapy for patients with advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). The continued approval of Keytruda was dependent on positive data from the phase 3 KEYNOTE-240 trial. Colin D. Weekes, MD, Ph.D., FASCO, said, “I voted yes because although the results [of KEYNOTE-240] are not statistically significant, I believe they are clinically significant, bore out by the persistent benefit demonstrated in the overall survival curves.” The median PFS was 3 months in the pembrolizumab arm vs 2.8 months in the placebo arm.

Helio Health and National Cancer Center Awarded Grant to Evaluate Helio Liver Test in Real-World Screening
28 April 2021
Helio Health, in partnership with the National Cancer Center (NCC) from the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, was awarded a grant which will enable accelerated development of its Helio Liver Test, a blood test designed for the early detection of HCC. The grant will support a study evaluating the performance of the Helio Liver Test in real-world screening scenarios. The Helio Liver Test is a cell-free DNA (cfDNA) methylation blood-based assay that can be conducted from a simple blood draw. The study is currently enrolling subjects at Jiangsu Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Early results show that the Helio Liver Test produced 88.7% sensitivity in early-stage HCC, while sensitivity for AFP, a well-known marker for liver cancer, alone was 57.5%. Ultrasound, the current standard of care for early-stage HCC detection, has approximately 47% sensitivity.

The Need for Novel Neoadjuvant Therapies in HCC
28 April 2021
Thomas Marron, Ph.D., MD, assistant director of early phase and immunotherapy clinical trials at the Tisch Cancer Institute stresses the importance and need for effective neoadjuvant therapies in Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). As of yet, no trials have demonstrated the survival advantage of preoperative or postoperative therapy in HCC. According to Marron, surgeons at his cancer center perform well over 100 surgeries for HCC a year, but the vast majority of patients have a recurrence. Furthermore, Marron cites incidences of both Hepatitis B and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis infections for the increase of HCC cases.

7 Reasons Why You Should Drink Moringa Tea
24 April 2021
Moringa tea leaves are a source of many vitamins including C, B6, and amino acids. Amritpal Singh Walia, the co-founder of Pioneer Sustainable Agriculture Limited (PSAL), states, “It is a well-known fact that only 100 grams of Moringa leaves contain a protein content of up to 9 grams.” There are many reasons to drink moringa tea. The main reason is that it can be used for cancer prevention and treatment. Moringa tea improves the effect of chemotherapy in cancer treatment. Furthermore, moringa tea leaves contain tannins, saponin, polyphenols, and other compounds that resist liver damage. All 13 species of Moringa Oleifera can boost the immune system to fight pathogens in the body.

UMCG Studies Cannabis Oil For Liver Cancer Patients With No Further Treatment Options
21 April 2021
The cannabis oil is used for this study is produced by the Transvaal apotheek, a specialist pharmacy to produce drugs for research purposes. It is produced according to a fixed recipe with precise amounts of THC and CBD. A team of researchers at the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) is studying the effect of cannabis oil on liver cancer patients. The study aims to see if cannabis oil acts as an anti-cancer agent that will shrink liver tumors. The study was created after two separate reports that patients with advanced liver cancer had seen their tumors shrink after using cannabis oil. Prior research shows that cannabis can curb the growth of liver cancer cells.

How to Radiologically Assess and Follow Response After Treatment of Hepatocellular Carcinoma
21 April 2021
Therapeutic options for patients with HCC are broken into two categories, curative and noncurative. Curative treatments include liver transplantation, resection, and ablation. Noncurative treatments include transarterial chemoembolization (TACE), transarterial radioembolization (TARE), and systemic therapies. Once a patient is on treatment, the accepted timing for performing the first imaging study after treatment is 4 to 6 weeks. The first imaging surveillance has 2 objectives, to identify the tumor visibly, and any early complications. Further follow-ups should be scheduled every 6 months. This will monitor tumor progression and guide future therapeutic decisions.

Artificially Sweetened Soda May Raise Liver Cancer Risk
21 April 2021
Myung Seung-Kwon, president of the Graduate School of Cancer Science and Policy at the National Cancer Center conducted a meta-analysis, referring to a study that combines the results of multiple studies addressing the same problem, on the link between drinking soda containing artificial sweeteners and the increased chance of developing liver cancer. The research showed that soda with artificial sweeteners raised the risk of liver cancer by 28 percent. Seung-Kwon also explained that in an animal test in mice it was shown that aspartame, which is known to be about 200 times sweeter than sugar, could produce methanol and becomes subsequently metabolized as formaldehyde to cause liver cancer.

Dr. Charlton on the Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on HCC
20 April 2021

Michael R. Charlton, MD, MBBS, professor of medicine at the University of Chicago discusses the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). Charlton explains that at the start of the pandemic, going into the hospital was reserved for patients who required immediate care and essential staff. Now, more than a year since the start, the hospital setting is functioning as normal. Unfortunately, many individuals did not comfortable coming into the hospital for HCC screening, and also did not go to the emergency room for potential HCC-related symptoms. Because of this, an increased number of patients will likely present with later-stage HCC. As these cases will most likely be late-stage, the patients will require treatment with immunotherapy or systemic therapy instead of curative-intent options.

Medivir Has Determined the Starting Dose for the Next Part of the Phase Ib Study With MIV-818
19 April 2021
The last patient has now undergone the safety follow-up to identify potentially dose-limiting toxicity during the first part of the phase Ib study using the treatment MIV-818 against liver cancer. There are currently three patients who will continue to be active on treatment within the study, and they will continue treatment until intolerable side effects or disease progression occur. The second part of the phase Ib study is planned to be initiated during the second half of 2021 once the recommended starting dose is decided. MIV-818 is designed to selectively treat liver cancer and minimize side effects. Researchers believe that it has the potential to become the first liver-targeted, orally administered drug for patients with HCC.

New Combo Shows Benefit Even in Patients With High-Risk HCC
14 April 2021
Updated data from the IMBRave150 trial shows significant clinical benefits for patients with carcinoma (HCC) using the combination treatment of the checkpoint inhibitor atezolizumab (Tecentriq) and angiogenesis inhibitor bevacizumab (Avastin). The new data was collected at the median follow-up of 15.6 months. The researchers reported the median overall survival was 19.2 months for patients randomized to atezolizumab-bevacizumab vs 13.4 months for patients on sorafenib. The new analysis shows benefit even in patients with high-risk disease.

Neoadjuvant Cemiplimab Elicits Complete Pathological Responses in HCC
13 April 2021
According to data from an open-label, multi-cohort phase 2a study a large amount of tumor death was seen in 20% of patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) who received neoadjuvant treatment with cemiplimab-rwlc (Libtayo). The primary endpoint of the study was significant tumor necrosis, based on analysis of gross tumor resection at the time of surgery. Significant tumor necrosis is defined as greater than 70% necrosis of the resected tumor, was reported in 4 of 20 patients after receiving treatment. Researchers believe that disease recurrence is a result of micro-metastases that persevere after surgery. Neoadjuvant therapy could potentially improve outcomes for patients with HCC. The lead study author is Thomas Urban Marron, MD, Ph.D., the assistant director of immunotherapy and early phase trials at The Tisch Cancer Institute.

Liver Cancer Cases Leap Among Men in Scotland
12 April 2021
According to a study, liver cancer rates increased from 4.4 cases per 100,000 people in 1997 to 9.6 cases per 100,000 people in 2017 in the UK. There were around 6,100 new cases in 2015-2017, which equals to about 17 new cases per day. Doctors were particularly concerned with Hepatocellular Carcinoma cases. The study also found that men in Scotland were most likely to get liver cancer and death rates of liver cancer were more than twice as high in men as in women. Dr. Tom Bird, a co-author of the study, explained that survival after a liver cancer diagnosis is getting longer but still less than half of the patients are alive after one year. Professor Linda Bauld stated, “It should worry us all that liver cancer rates have risen over the last few decades in Scotland. Sadly, it is preventable factors like being overweight or obese, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption that increase the risk.”

A Tailored Approach to Promoting HCC Surveillance in Patients With Cirrhosis
12 April 2021
According to a recent study, predictive modeling of the response to surveillance outreach invitations can help to develop targeted strategies to maximize the effectiveness of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) surveillance implementation. It has been shown that there is a need for interventions to increase HCC surveillance in patients with cirrhosis. Accurate prediction of a patient's likelihood to respond to interventions could allow for a cost-effective approach to outreach and help target more intensive interventions to non-responders. A team of researchers analyzed a randomized clinical trial that evaluated a mail-based outreach strategy to promote HCC surveillance among 1200 cirrhosis patients. Based on the data they created algorithm models to predict surveillance completion during three screening rounds in a training set.

Dr. Levy on the Safety Profile, Dosing of Cabozantinib in HCC
9 April 2021
Cabozantinib is a multitarget kinase inhibitor used as a treatment for patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). Anna T. Levy, DO, an assistant professor at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, explains that its safety profile is similar to that of lenvatinib (Lenvima) and sorafenib (Nexavar). The average dose of cabozantinib was 35.8 mg for advanced patients in phase 3 CELESTIAL trial. In Dr. Levy's practice, she usually starts with a lower dose for all TKIs, while for cabozantinib she starts treatment with a 40-mg dose and slowly increases it to the 60-mg recommended dose.

Blue Faery Gives Annual Liver Cancer Research Award
8 April 2021
Blue Faery: The Adrienne Wilson Liver Cancer Association has granted their Blue Faery Award (BFA) for Excellence in Liver Cancer Research to Xin Wei Wang, Ph.D., Senior Investigator at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Upon receiving the award, Dr. Wang stated, “I am so thrilled to hear this wonderful news. It's an absolute honor to receive this year's award, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic and as the recipient who has ever won this award twice.” The board voted in Dr. Wang's favor as they felt he was doing the most targeted research that would have the biggest impact on the HCC patient population. President and founder, Andrea Wilson, started Blue Faery in honor of her sister Adrienne, who died of HCC at the age of 15. Blue Faery announces the winner on April 8, which was Adrienne's birthday.

Updated Data Confirm Clinical Benefit of Novel Immunotherapy Combos in HCC
6 April 2021
According to Daniel Lin, MD, MS the main question to most doctors and researchers now concerns the optimal sequencing of various treatments per individual patients. In May 2020, the FDA approved the combination treatment of atezolizumab (Tecentriq) plus bevacizumab (Avastin) for use in patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Updated data from the Imbrave150 trial that supported the FDA's decision, showed that the regimen had a median overall survival (OS) of 19.2 months vs 13.4 months with sorafenib and a median progression-free survival (PFS) with the combination was 6.9 months versus 4.3 months, with the single. Based on the data from the phase 1/2 CheckMate-040 trial, the combination of nivolumab (Opdivo) plus ipilimumab (Yervoy) received regulatory approval in March 2020 for use in patients with HCC.

LEGACY Trial of Radioembolization Shows Practice-Changing Data in HCC
6 April 2021
Michael R. Charlton, MD, MBBS, professor of medicine at the University of Chicago Medicine, discusses the impact of the LEGACY trial investigating yttrium-90 radioembolization in patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). The LEGACY trial was conducted at several locations including Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago and Mount Sinai Health System in New York. This study looked at the radioembolization of single lesions up to 8 cm in size that was not removable by surgery. The 5-year survival rates in the LEGACY study were comparable with the survival of standard-of-care methods.

Study Shows Significantly Better Performance Characteristics of Epigenomics' Liver Cancer Panel Compared to the Current Standard of Care for the Early Detection of HCC
6 April 2021
A recent study shows significantly better performance characteristics of Epigenomics' liver cancer panel compared to the current standard of care for the early detection of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) in patients with liver cirrhosis. The Epigenomics next-generation sequencing (NGS) liver cancer panel plus alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) had a sensitivity of 68% at a specificity of 97% compared to the current standard of care (ultrasound and AFP) of 63% sensitivity and 84% specificity. The Epigenomics' blood-based panel provides a very simple and affordable method that can improve clinical performance and could be particularly applicable in settings where resources for surveillance by imaging may be limited. Such a blood test can help detect HCC at an early stage. Epigenomics AG is a molecular diagnostics company focused on blood testing for the early detection of cancer.

Gene Discovery Suggests New Treatment Approach for Liver Cancer
6 April 2021
A team of researchers from the Centenary Institute has discovered that the dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP4) gene family is strongly implicated in the development of human Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). Dr. Zhang and Dr. Hui Emma Zhang are the co-authors of the paper. The four enzymes of the gene family are DPP4, DPP8, DPP9 and fibroblast activation protein (FAP). Their results suggest that the DPP4 gene family, and the four enzymes that it contains, should be further studied to find new therapeutic approaches to fighting tumors found in the liver. Over 2,000 Australians die each year from liver cancer. The five-year survival rate for liver cancer is below 20%.

Can-Fite BioPharma (CANF) Announces Cannabis Compound Inhibits Liver Cancer Growth in Preclinical Studies
5 April 2021
Pre-clinical studies have reported that a CBD-rich T3/C15 cannabis fraction suppresses liver cancer cell growth. Can-Fite showed that this fractional compound inhibited the growth of liver HEP-3b Hepatocellular Carcinoma cells. They have since filed patent applications protecting its discovery of cannabinoid-based therapies where the A3AR target is overexpressed including liver cancer. Can-Fite has expertise in developing drugs for advanced liver cancer with its drug candidate Namodenoson which is expected to enter a pivotal Phase III study soon since it has successfully achieved its primary endpoint in a Phase II trial.

Protein-Based Biomarker Identifies the Chemo Drug Sensitivity
2 April 2021
Chemotherapeutic treatment is a frequently-used drug-based method, where a powerful chemical compound is injected into the body to kill the malignant cells. Cisplatin is a platinum-metal-based chemotherapy medication used to treat liver cancer intravenously. While it is very effective, its alarming side effects are of serious concern to the medical community. A recent study was conducted to monitor the cisplatin level in liver cancer cells reported by researchers from the Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences at Niigata University, Japan. The team identified the most abundant 2 protein (APM2) as a potential marker to indicate the permissible level of the drug. Professor Kenya Kamimura stated, “Our results demonstrate a significant relationship between the high level of APM2 expression in serum, cancerous cells in the liver, the surrounding liver tissue and cisplatin resistance.”

Burst of Treatment Options in HCC Complicates Sequencing Decisions
27 March 2021
In May 2020, the FDA approved the combination treatment of atezolizumab (Tecentriq) plus bevacizumab (Avastin), based on results from the phase 3 Imbrave150. “Bevacizumab/atezolizumab is the first therapy to demonstrate improved OS over sorafenib in the frontline setting,” stated Mark Yarchoan, MD. Now a new challenge is presented, as no therapy has been studied in the second-line after prior treatment with bevacizumab/atezolizumab. Currently, regorafenib (Stivarga), cabozantinib (Cabometyx), and ramucirumab (Cyramza) have demonstrated a survival benefit in the second-line setting for other treatments. The approval for cabozantinib in patients with HCC who had previously received sorafenib was based on findings from the CELESTIAL trial. The approval for ramucirumab monotherapy is approved for patients who have been previously treated with sorafenib, based on phase 3 REACH-2 trial.

Continued Demand for Hepatocellular Carcinoma Surveillance
25 March 2021
There are many treatment options, including curative treatments for patients when Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) is detected early. Many organizations including the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), and the European Association for the Study of the Liver/European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EASL/EORTC) recommend surveillance and screening of patients with chronic liver disease. Common methods used for surveillance are imaging tests such as ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computerized tomography (CT), and biomarkers such as alpha-fetoprotein (AFP). Japan uses a combination of these methods and has much higher rates of people with early prognosis, and therefore can offer them more effective treatment options.

Last Patient With Liver Cancer Included in the Monotherapy Part of Medivir's Phase Ib Study with MIV-818
25 March 2021
The last patient with advanced liver cancer has been included in the first part of the phase Ib study with MIV-818, according to Medivir. MIV-818 is a pro-drug designed to selectively treat liver cancers and minimize side effects. The first part of the phase Ib study of MIV-818 is a dose-escalation study with three cohorts of three patients with advanced liver cancer who have undergone previous treatments. The primary purpose is to further investigate the safety and tolerability profile and to determine the starting dose for part two of the phase Ib study. The second part of the study will use MIV-818 as a combination therapy. Yilmaz Mahshid, CEO of Medivir, believes that MIV-818 has the potential to significantly improve the treatment of patients with liver cancer. Medivir develops new treatments based on areas where unmet medical needs are high.

Regorafenib/Nivolumab Proof Of Concept Suggested In Third-Line, Refractory HCC
28 March 2021
According to the preliminary results from a phase 2 study, half of all patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) treated with the combination of regorafenib (Stivarga) and nivolumab (Opdivo) achieved disease control. The study was led by Yasmina Ben Merabet, MD, of the Hepato-Biliary Center at the Paul-Brousse Hospital in Villejuif, France. Typically, patients with HCC who progress after more than 2 lines of chemotherapy have a very poor prognosis. This study wanted to explore the potential for this combination in HCC patients in the third-line setting or beyond. Patients received the combination treatment for a median of 5 months. The overall response rate (ORR) was 30%. The median time to response was 2.5 months and the median duration of disease control was 6 months.

Study In ‘Nature’ Concludes Immunotherapy Is Less Efficient In Non-Viral Liver Cancer
25 March 2021
A team of researchers from the University of Barcelona (UB) and August Pi Sunyer Biomedical Research Institute (Clínic-IDIBAPS), conducted a study which showed patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) who undergo a type of immunotherapy responded worse to the treatment when the tumor is caused by a fatty liver or alcohol abuse. Immunotherapy can have clinical benefits in advanced phases of the disease based on previous findings of the combination treatment of bevacizumab and atezolizumab. However, the efficiency of immunotherapy can be affected by the cause of the tumor since the etiology will condition the type of immune response. “We need biomarkers that correlate with the response to treatment and that enable us to classify patients who can benefit from it”, states Josep M. Llovet.

Genetron Health Releases New Data Results Of HCCscreen™ For Liver Cancer Early Screening In China
24 March 2021
Genetron has released new study information regarding their HCCscreen, a blood-based early screening test for Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). The multi-center prospective HCCscreen Investigational Study (HIT), is a collaboration between Genetron Health and the National Cancer Center China that started in 2019. Results showed that HCCscreen achieved 88% sensitivity and 93% specificity, compared with 71% sensitivity and 95% specificity, respectively, by ultrasound plus alpha-fetoprotein (AFP). HCCscreen is powered by Genetron's proprietary Mutation Capsule technology, which enables the detection of multiple methylation alterations in parallel with mutations in cell-free DNA from peripheral blood specimens. “Overall, HCCscreenTM continues to be a leading liquid-biopsy early detection assay in Hepatocellular Carcinoma,” stated Sizhen Wang, co-founder and CEO of Genetron.

What to Know About Yervoy (Ipilimumab)
21 March 2021
Yervoy (ipilimumab) is an immunotherapy for the treatment of liver cancer. Yervoy works by targeting and inhibiting a protein receptor called cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated protein 4 (CTLA-4), which prompts your immune system to attack cancer cells within your body. It may be given alone or in combination with another Opdivo (nivolumab). The combination of Yervoy and Opdivo is approved to treat HCC in patients who have been previously treated with Nexavar (sorafenib). Dosing for HCC is 3 mg/kg once every 3 weeks (in combination with Opdivo) for 4 combination doses, followed by Opdivo alone. The most common side effects associated with Yervoy include fatigue, diarrhea, and rash.

No Evidence That The Milk Protein Casein Causes Cancer
21 March 2021
According to an article based on a book titled “The China Study”, authored by biochemist and professor emeritus at Cornell University, T. Colin Campbell claiming that the milk protein casein is a carcinogen and “turns on cancer.” Campbell stated that he came to this conclusion after studying how the consumption of casein affected cancer development in animal models. However, this claim failed to mention the fact that the mice in these studies were previously infected with hepatitis B virus, which is a known risk factor for liver cancer. Cancer Research U.K. stated that “There is no good evidence that milk and dairy cause cancer” and that “There is good evidence that eating and drinking dairy products decreases the risk of bowel cancer.” Furthermore, casein is not recognized as a carcinogen, which is “an agent with the capacity to cause cancer in humans”, as defined by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. And is not on any lists of known and probable human carcinogens provided by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the U.S. National Toxicology Program.

TheraSphere SIRT Received FDA Approval For Treatment Of Unresectable HCC
18 March 2021
TheraSphere Y-90 Glass Microspheres, developed by Boston Scientific Corporation for the treatment of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC), has been approved by the FDA. This selective internal radiation therapy, or SIRT, is made up of millions of microscopic glass beads containing radioactive yttrium (Y-90) for direct delivery to cancer cells within the liver, using a catheter for minimal exposure to healthy tissue. This decision was based on the results of the LEGACY study, which looked at efficacy and safety. The results showed the median overall survival (OS) in the intent-to-treat population was 57.9 months and the rate of OS at 3 years was 86.6%. Liver function as determined by levels of albumin and bilirubin were maintained for 92.9% and 85.3% of patients, respectively. “The FDA approval and the recent NICE [National Institute for Health and Care Excellence] recommendation will expand access to TheraSphere, which has demonstrated improvement in both survivability and quality of life through 20 years of clinical trials and real-world outcomes in the more than 70,000 patients globally,” stated Peter Pattison, president of Interventional Oncology, Peripheral Interventions at Boston Scientific.

FDA Approves TheraSphere Y-90 Glass Microspheres For Unresectable HCC
18 March 2021
Based on the results of the LEGACY study, the FDA has approved TheraSphere yttrium-90 (Y-90) glass microspheres for the treatment of patients with unresectable Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). In the study, TheraSphere microspheres served as a suitable neoadjuvant therapy before transplant or resection. The median overall survival was 57.9 months and the overall survival rate at 3 years was 86.6%. The primary endpoint of the study was objective response rate (ORR) and duration of response (DOR). Among 162 patients the ORR was 72.2%, and of the 117 responders, 76.1% had a DOR of 6 months or more. Radioembolization with TheraSphere can be performed as an outpatient procedure and has been recommended for use by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for the treatment of patients with HCC.

As FDA Review Approaches, Finn Reflects On The Utility of Pembrolizumab, Nivolumab In HCC
17 March 2021
OncLive interviews with Richard S. Finn, MD professor of clinical medicine in the Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Finn explains that while Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and nivolumab (Opdivo) did not meet the endpoints of the confirmatory KEYNOTE-240 and CheckMate-459 trials, respectively, they still represent valuable second-line treatment options for patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). Finn also states that nivolumab and pembrolizumab have very favorable safety profiles. Finn was the lead author on the KEYNOTE-240 study for pembrolizumab monotherapy after sorafenib in patients with advanced HCC. The study concluded with a response rate of 18%.

Dr. Pillai On Sequential Treatment In HCC
15 March 2021
Anjana Pillai, MD, associate professor and medical director of the Liver Tumor Program, at the University of Chicago, discusses sequential treatment in Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). Pillai explains that the treatment landscape for HCC is moving toward sequential treatment, as more first-line options are approved by the FDA. Determining which first-line therapies should be selected for each patient is crucial. However, several combination therapies may be utilized in the first-line setting, which will prompt the question of which approach should be selected for subsequent treatment, Pillai explains. Future data will help to determine which treatments should be used subsequently for patients whose disease progresses.

Liver Cancer Symptoms: Pain Near the Right Shoulder Blade Could Be A Sign Of The Disease
15 March 2021
Symptoms of liver cancer often do not appear until the later stages of the disease. While a lump in the right side of your abdomen, where the liver is located, is one of the main symptoms, other parts of the body can be affected. One of the other most common symptoms is pain near the right shoulder blade and may extend into the back. This happens because The tumor can irritate nerves that tell your brain the pain is coming from your shoulder blade when it is coming from the liver. According to the NHS website for England (www.nhs.uk), other liver cancer symptoms include jaundice skin or eyes, loss of appetite, and itchy skin.

The Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Cause Of Hepatocellular Carcinoma
11 March 2021
There are four main causes of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC): hepatitis B, hepatitis C, excessive alcohol consumption, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) leading to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Steatosis is the first and largely symptomless stage of NAFLD. Once a person develops NASH, they have liver damage that takes the form of inflammation and cell death. Approximately 25% of adults in the US have NAFLD. Cirrhosis of the liver is the final stage of damage, with often significant loss of capability, as well as serious health effects, including the potential for complete liver failure. Between 5% and 15% of these patients develop HCC. Blue Faery provides free and clinically accurate materials for patients and caregivers, including the HCC patient education brochure the Blue Faery HCC staging discussion pad, and the Patient Resource Guide for Liver Cancer which is a 20-page booklet with explanations and resources.

People With HIV And Hepatitis B Should Have Ongoing Monitoring For Liver Cancer
11 March 2021
According to recent research, people with HIV and hepatitis B are at high risk for developing Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) despite antiviral treatment and should undergo regular monitoring for liver cancer. “Our findings underscore that antiviral therapy reduces but does not eliminate the risk of HCC,” Dr. H. Nina Kim of the University of Washington. Kim and the team analyzed the medical history of 8354 patients. Looking at the full study population, there were 115 new cases of HCC or 1.8 per 1000 person-years. The researchers concluded that this study is the first to show that any level of hepatitis B virus in the blood is associated with increased HCC risk in a large, racially diverse cohort outside of Asia. Hepatitis B is among the leading causes of liver cancer worldwide.

Microwave Ablation Burns Away Liver Tumors
10 March 2021
The most effective treatment for liver cancer tumors is resection, or the operation of cutting the tumor and surrounding liver out of the body. This is a very serious operation and can have a long recovery time for patients. Cleveland Clinic is the first hospital in the world to use a new treatment recently approved by the FDA. It is an ablation technology that delivers 150-watts of microwave energy with a single needle. “We insert this special camera, that we can look inside,” explains Eren Berber, MD, MBA, director of surgical liver tumor ablation at Cleveland Clinic. Berber is a world leader in advanced laparoscopic ablation technologies and says that this treatment’s benefits include better recoveries, less pain, and a quicker return to normal life. He further explains that the camera, and laparoscopic ultrasound, are used to examine the liver and expose the tumor for microwave ablation. “Through a very small incision, a couple of millimeters, we introduce our ablation needle under the ultrasound guide,” described Dr. Berber. Then, the microwave generator is used to deliver immense heat to burn and destroy the tumor.

Looking Beyond Atezolizumab/Bevacizumab For The Treatment Of HCC
10 March 2021
There have been many clinical trials for treatments for Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) which have compared effectiveness with the current standard of care using sorafenib (Nexavar). The current FDA-approved treatment for HCC is the combination of atezolizumab (Tecentriq) and bevacizumab (Avastin). The phase 3 CheckMate 459 compared sorafenib with nivolumab (Opdivo), an immune checkpoint inhibitor. The median overall survival (OS) achieved with nivolumab was 16.4 months, longer than that of sorafenib which was 14.8 months. Laura Goff, MD, associate professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center believes that the combination of atezolizumab plus bevacizumab is the clear winner in the first-line setting right now.

St George Hospital Researchers Make Liver Cancer Breakthrough
10 March 2021
The Sir Owen Glenn Liver Research Group based at the University of NSW Microbiome Research Centre at St George Hospital has found a way to predict a person's risk of developing liver cancer. The study was overseen by Associate Professor Amany Zekry and Professor Emad El-Omar. The team recruited 90 adult patients, two-thirds of whom had just been diagnosed with either non-alcoholic fatty liver-related liver cancer or cirrhosis. They discovered that the gut microbiome, the group of microorganisms living in our digestive tracts, can modulate the immune response in liver cancer patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in a way that promotes cancer's survival.

How Real-World Regorafenib Dosing Correlates With Prior Sorafenib Treatment In HCC
9 March 2021
Richard Finn, MD, an oncologist at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses the current results of the REFINE Study. This study tests the real-world dosing of regorafenib (Stivarga) in patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). All of the patients in the study were previously treated with sorafenib (Nexavar). Patients were administered 80 mg to 120 mg of regorafenib daily. Finn noted that dosing seemed to be based on the prior sorafenib dose. Survival in the group was about 13 months. Adverse events were similar to those observed in the RESORCE study, and according to Finn, the safety profiles were similar regardless of the dose. Dose de-escalation was also determined to be related to prior sorafenib.

How Summer On The Lake May Impact Your Liver
9 March 2021
As summer begins, algae also begin to grow, unleashing a green scum across bodies of water and toxins that can affect the health of anyone exposed to too much. Microcystin-LR is the most common and the most potent toxin produced by freshwater blue-green algae. It was first identified as a potent liver toxin in the 1980s and has since been linked to liver damage and cancer. Pharmaceutical Sciences Assistant Professor John Clarke reported from his lab that when a healthy liver was exposed to microcystin it caused fibrosis, which then repaired itself. However, when a NAFLD liver was exposed to the same toxin the fibrosis stayed. When fibrosis becomes severe and permanent, the liver disease has progressed to a stage called cirrhosis. Both fibrosis and cirrhosis increase the risk of developing Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC).

Doctors Debate: Is Systemic Or Liver-Directed Therapy Best For Hepatocellular Carcinoma?
5 March 2021
There are currently many treatments for Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC), including surgery, transplant, liver-directed therapy, and systemic therapy. In a review of cases and clinical trials in HCC, it was shown that treatment strategies that were multi-modal achieved better resection rates in surgery, more successful transplants, and longer survival following treatment compared with studies that used one form of therapy over the other. Sunyoung S. Lee, MD, Ph.D., a gastrointestinal medical oncologist and faculty member in the Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, stated “The most important point is that HCC needs multidisciplinary care, and medical oncologists need to know when to add liver-directed therapy, and interventional radiologists or radiation oncologists need to know the indication when systemic therapy needs to be added. More and more data suggest that multidisciplinary care is more beneficial in HCC. This is the key takeaway.”

TGH Begins Trial of New Device Created To Destroy Tumors Without Surgery
5 March 2021
Physicians at Tampa General conducted the first use of a novel device called HistoSonics System in January using a new technique called Histotripsy which uses ultrasound waves in non-invasive surgeries to remove tumors. Patients who have liver tumors and have been deemed inoperable can qualify to take part in the #HOPE4LIVER trial. the Histotripsy device uses its robotic arm to perform the ablation of the tumor using ultrasound waves. The device uses a robotic arm to perform the ablation of the tumor. The procedure enables physicians to target a specific area precisely within 1/16th of an inch causing air bubbles to form and rupture the cells without using any type of incision. The debris is then removed.

Innovative, Non-Invasive Technologies Advanced Earlier Detection & Monitoring Of Liver Disease
5 March 2021
FibroScan® is a pain-free, non-invasive examination of the liver. It can analyze and provide information regarding liver stiffness and fat scores in a single 10-minute procedure. Since the scan produces numeric measurements and not images, it allows for simplified interpretation and consistency of measurement for monitoring changes in liver tissue over time. People are becoming more aware of the prevalence and costs associated with under-diagnosed liver disease. Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), and the more severe form, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), is a potentially progressive liver disease that can lead to cirrhosis and Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). Estimates show that roughly 357 million people will have NASH globally by 2030.

Study Shows Simple Blood Test Could Detect Liver Injury Earlier
5 March 2021
The current standard for monitoring and diagnosing liver disease is with a liver biopsy, which is invasive and can be painful or cause complications. A non-invasive procedure used to monitor liver function is blood tests that record levels of certain enzymes and proteins in the blood, such as alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST), which are released by liver cells, or hepatocytes, when the organ is damaged. Physicians also can monitor liver function noninvasively with tests that record levels of certain enzymes and proteins in the blood, such as alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST), which are released by liver cells, or hepatocytes, when the organ is damaged. In one of the studies, Zheng and his colleagues focused on a chemical called glutathione, which is the master antioxidant produced by the liver.

What Is Stage 4 Liver Cancer?
5 March 2021
There are four stages of liver cancer, also called Hepatocellular Carcinoma (or HCC). In the fourth and most advanced stage, a tumor that began in the liver has spread to lymph nodes and other organs. Liver cancer is more common among men of Black, Native American, Hispanic, and Asian or Pacific Islander descent. Some of the signs and symptoms of liver cancer include abdominal swelling, loss of appetite, fluid in the abdomen and jaundice. Screening for the stage of liver cancer can help determine how far cancer has spread and what treatments would have a greater effect. The substages of liver cancer are based on tumor size and how much it has spread to other parts of the body.

NICE Recommends New Advanced Liver Cancer Treatment
2 March 2021
NICE issued final draft guidance on a cancer treatment called selective internal radiation therapy (SIRT) as an option for treating Hepatocellular Carcinoma or HCC. SIRT is a way of giving radiation treatment for cancer via tiny radioactive beads (called microspheres) which are injected into the artery supplying blood to the tumor via a catheter from the femoral artery. The draft guidance recommends the use of two particular microsphere products for treating advanced liver cancer which can’t be surgically removed and when a procedure to cut off the blood supply to the tumor isn’t appropriate. In 2017, there were 4,975 people diagnosed with HCC, of whom around 1,780 would have been eligible to receive treatment with SIRT.

Implanted Chemotherapy Device Has Kept Her Cancer In Check For More Than A Year
1 March 2021
Liver surgeon Clifford Cho, M.D. implanted a device known as a hepatic artery infusion pump, designed to deliver powerful chemotherapy directly to the liver of one of his patients. Cho says. “It allows us to be much more aggressive in delivering chemotherapy directly into the liver.” The use of the pump, which is about the size and shape of a hockey puck, was developed in Michigan in the late 1970s and early 1980s by William Ensminger, M.D., Ph.D., and his colleagues. Because the liver is so good at breaking down the powerful chemotherapy agent fluorodeoxyuridine, or FUDR, it can be delivered at levels that would be overwhelmingly toxic if given throughout the whole body like most chemotherapies, explains Ensminger.

Liver Cancer: What Are The Best Treatment Available? Know What Increases Your Risk of The Deadly Disease
1 March 2021
Dr. Ravi Mohanka, Chief Surgeon and Head of Department, Transplant and HPB Surgery, Global Hospital, Mumbai, discussed life-saving treatments. High alcohol consumption, a family history of liver cancer, type 2 diabetes and liver cirrhosis are all factors that can lead to liver cancer. Liver cancer occurs when old and damaged liver cells overgrow and keep multiplying instead of dying. The treatment to deal with liver cancer will depend on the type, stage, and location of your tumor. Symptoms of liver cancer include abdominal pain, jaundice, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and unintentional weight loss. Ablation therapy can be used -this is when the doctor will opt for heat, laser, or alcohol injection to kill the cancerous cells.

Personalized Radioembolization Improves OS Vs Standard Dosing In Advanced HCC
1 March 2021
According to the results of the phase 2 DOSISPHERE-01 trial, Yttrium-90 (Y-90) glass microspheres (TheraSphere) administered in a personalized, dosimetric approach demonstrated a 16-month improvement in overall survival (OS) compared with a standard dosimetric approach in patients with unresectable Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). Dosimetry is the determination and measurement of the amount or dosage of radiation absorbed by a substance or living organism using a dosimeter. The study included 56 patients. The median OS was 26.6 months with personalized dosimetry, versus 10.7 months with standard dosimetry. The objective response rate (ORR) of index lesions was 71.4% with the personalized approach versus 35.7% with the standard approach, thus meeting the primary endpoint of the study.

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

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