Between 1999 and 2015, overall cancer incidence rates continued to decrease among men and remained stable among women in the United States, but that's not the case for liver cancer. Rates of liver cancer are increasing in both men and women according to the National Cancer Institute's Annual Report to the Nation.
However, there is tremendous promise in new and emerging treatments. Just last week at the European Society of Medical Oncology Meeting, Dr. Thomas Yau of the University of Hong Kong presented data for the CheckMate 459 study, which showed improvements in overall survival and response rates and a favourable safety profile in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) treated with first-line nivolumab compared to sorafenib, a current standard of care.
This October for Liver Cancer Awareness Month, we renew our focus on basic research to understand the mechanisms the immune system can use—and doctors and scientists can unleash—to fight cancer. With each new development from the lab to the clinic, we come closer to unlocking an answer to cancer.
Liver Cancer Research and Treatment News
We spoke with Bruno Sangro, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Liver Unit at Clínica Universidad de Navarra and a professor of medicine at the University of Navarra School of Medicine, to better understand the current immunotherapy efforts in liver cancer. Dr. Sangro is an investigator on the pivotal phase III HIMALAYA clinical trial that is evaluating a combination immunotherapy in patients with previously untreated, inoperable liver cancer.
Read the interview with Dr. Sangro
Liver Cancer Scientist Spotlight
Allison Frances O'Neill, M.D., will soon start enrolling patients to a multi-institutional phase II clinical trial in which pediatric patients with relapsed or refractory hepatocellular carcinoma will be treated with checkpoint inhibition targeting the PD-1 pathway. In addition to evaluating the benefits of this approach for pediatric patients, Dr. O’Neill also aims to characterize the tumor immune environment for each patient’s tumor.
Learn more about Dr. O'Neill's clinical trial
Immunotherapy for Liver Cancer Information Updated
In November 2019, a new checkpoint immunotherapy was approved for the treatment of certain patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. With new breakthroughs in immunotherapy and FDA approvals gaining steam, we keep our liver cancer immunotherapy information up to date.
View Immunotherapy for Liver Cancer Webpage
Find a Liver Cancer Clinical Trial
Considering a clinical trial? Understand how they work, access cutting-edge treatments, and help the next generation of doctors and patients. Our Clinical Trial Finder will match you to trials for which you may be eligible.
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Support Liver Cancer Research
Cancer Research Institute has been funding scientists studying liver cancer for more than 30 years. For example, Gabriel A. Rabinovich, Ph.D., a CRI investigator from 2006-2010 at the University of Buenos Aires, provided the first demonstration that galectin-1 plays a role in modulating cell adhesion and tumor growth in liver cancer, suggesting that it could be a promising target to prevent or slow liver cancer progression. This Liver Cancer Awareness Month, support lifesaving cancer immunotherapy research.
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