Fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma (FL-HCC) is a rare form of liver cancer that primarily affects young people. Currently, there are no effective treatments for advanced FL-HCC, so Dr. Sullivan is exploring the potential of immunotherapy to help these patients. Using FL-HCC patient samples to grow cells in a 3D structure that models actual tumors, he’s working to understand the immune environment in these tumors and characterizing the immune cells that infiltrate them. Then, he’s going to expand these immune cells from the tumors and see if they, in combination with checkpoint inhibition immunotherapy, have the ability to eliminate tumor cells. Overall, his goal is to develop a sound basis for treating FL-HCC patients with immunotherapy, and then test this combination in a clinical trial.
My clinical passion in medicine and surgery is taking care of cancer patients at the bedside. With research, we can reach greater numbers of patients in equally important ways through innovation in treatment strategy. My hope is to be able to eventually utilize immunotherapy in patients with few other options for treatment.
Projects and Grants
T-cell immunotherapy in fibrolamellar cancer
University of Washington | Childhood Cancer, Liver Cancer | 2017 | Venu G. Pillarisetty M.D. , F.A.C.S.
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