Adding radiation to systemic therapy extends overall survival for patients with advanced liver cancer

Adding radiation therapy to systemic therapy for patients with advanced liver cancer can extend overall survival and delay tumor progression without compromising patients’ quality of life, a randomized phase III clinical trial shows.

Radiation oncology research and clinical trial results to be featured at ASTRO’s Annual Meeting in San Antonio

The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) announced today the 10 studies that will be highlighted in the 2022 ASTRO Annual Meeting press program. Researchers will discuss their findings in two news briefings to be held October 24 and 25 in the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio and via live webcast. Reporters can register for the meeting at astro.org/annualmeetingpress.

AASLD Foundation Funds Over $1.5 Million in Hepatology Research and Career Development in 2022

The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) Foundation, the largest medical society supporter of liver disease research and training in the United States, today announced its combined investment of over $1.5 million in Research and Career Development Awards, Abstract Awards, Emerging Liver Scholars (ELS) Program for medical residents and its new Emerging Liver Advanced Practice Provider (APP) Program.

The 2022 award recipients — selected from a highly competitive applicant pool — demonstrate both exceptional aptitude and deep interest in liver disease research and treatment. Their work will further advance the mission of the AASLD Foundation and hepatology as a medical specialty.

Liver Cancer’s Supercharged Metabolism Offers a New Treatment Strategy, Penn Study Suggests

Data published in Cell Metabolism on liver cancer’s rapid growth which leads to a vulnerability in its energy-production and cell-building processes that may be potently exploited with a new combination-treatment strategy, according to a study from researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

New Study Shows Hope, Options for Older Patients With Liver Cancer

Physicians and researchers from UK HealthCare’s Transplant Center and the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center conducted a study of patients over the age of 70 with a type of liver cancer called hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and how the outcomes of ablative treatments compare to liver transplants. The findings were published in the May 2022 issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

Shrinking Liver Cancer Tumors Before Transplant Yields Excellent Outcomes, Researchers Report

Treating liver cancer tumors to shrink them in order to allow the patient to qualify for a liver transplant leads to excellent 10-year post-transplant outcomes, according to new Mount Sinai research published in JAMA Surgery. The results validate current national policies around transplant eligibility.

Prenatal Exposure to Chemicals in Consumer and Industrial Products Is Associated With Rising Liver Disease in Children

The growing incidence of a potentially cancer-causing liver disease in children is associated with prenatal exposure to several endocrine-disrupting chemicals, Mount Sinai researchers report.

Study Links Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption with Liver Cancer

A study of more than 90,000 postmenopausal women found that those who consumed at least one sugar-sweetened beverage daily faced a 78% higher risk of developing liver cancer compared with people who consumed less than three servings per month of such beverages.

Henry Ford Health is First in the World to Offer Latest Advancement in MR-Guided Radiation Therapy

Henry Ford Health is the first in the world to complete a full course of patient treatments using the latest advancement in magnetic resonance (MR)-guided radiation therapy, which integrates real-time magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and linear acceleration to deliver precise and accurate radiation treatment more rapidly than ever before.

External-beam radiation therapy underused for people with liver cancer awaiting transplant

People with liver cancer awaiting transplantation could benefit from non-invasive radiation treatments but are rarely given this therapy, according to a new analysis of U.S. national data. Findings will be presented today at the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Annual Meeting.

Radio-wave Therapy Is Safe for Liver Cancer Patients and Shows Improvement in Overall Survival

Researchers at Wake Forest School of Medicine have shown that a targeted therapy using non-thermal radio waves is safe to use in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common type of liver cancer. The therapy also showed a benefit in overall survival. The study findings appear online in 4Open, a journal published by EDP Sciences.

World Trade Center Responders with the Greatest Exposure to Toxic Dust Have a Higher Likelihood of Liver Disease

Mount Sinai researchers have found evidence for the first time that World Trade Center responders had a higher likelihood of developing liver disease if they arrived at the site right after the attacks as opposed to working at Ground Zero later in the rescue and recovery efforts. Their study links the increase in liver disease risk to the quantity of toxic dust the workers were exposed to, which was greatest immediately after the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Diet Plays Critical Role in NASH Progressing to Liver Cancer in Mouse Model

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine found in a mouse model that when fed a Western diet rich in calories, fat and cholesterol, the mice progressively became obese, diabetic and developed NASH, which progressed to HCC, chronic kidney and cardiovascular disease.

Liver Cancer Tumors Appear to Be Resistant to Immunotherapy in Patients With Underlying Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH)

Immunotherapy is not only significantly less effective in liver cancer patients who previously had a liver disease called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), but actually appears to fuel tumor growth, according to a Mount Sinai study published in Nature in March. NASH affects as many as 40 million people worldwide and is associated with obesity and diabetes.

Ionic liquid formulation uniformly delivers chemotherapy to tumors while destroying cancerous tissue

A Mayo Clinic team, led by Rahmi Oklu, M.D., Ph.D., a vascular and interventional radiologist at Mayo Clinic, in collaboration with Samir Mitragotri, Ph.D., of Harvard University, report the development of a new ionic liquid formulation that killed cancer cells and allowed uniform distribution of a chemotherapy drug into liver tumors and other solid tumors in the lab.

Researcher Developing Scoring System to Redefine How U.S. Patients are Prioritized for Liver Transplant

Researchers with Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine are collaborating with faculty at the University of Pennsylvania to develop a risk score that more comprehensively prioritizes liver cancer patients for transplantation.

Culturally Relevant Programs Needed to Help End Hep B in Black Communities, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center Researchers Report

Hepatitis B disproportionately impacts U.S. Blacks, including African American and Haitian Blacks. Both communities suffer from widespread misinformation and access to care issues that might avert disease detection and prevention, according to a study published in Cancer Causes & Control by researchers at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

$50K Grant Supports Exploration of Treatment for Liver Cancer

Incidence and mortality of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a common type of liver cancer, is increasing in the United States. Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey experts have received a $50,000 award through the Translational Research Pilot Award Program that will support the examination of how a drug combination impacts the growth of both human HCC cancer cells and tumors in laboratory models, with the goal of identifying a new treatment for patients with this disease.

New Liver Cancer Research Targets Non-Cancer Cells to Blunt Tumor Growth

“Senotherapy,” a treatment that uses small molecule drugs to target “senescent” cells, or those cells that no longer undergo cell division, blunts liver tumor progression in animal models according to new research from a team led by Celeste Simon, PhD, a professor of Cell and Developmental Biology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and scientific director of the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute. The study was published in Nature Cell Biology.

Racial Inequalities in Liver Cancer Deaths Soared After Launch of Hepatitis C Drugs

A study explored racial inequalities in death from liver cancer before and after the introduction of lifesaving drugs for hepatitis C. Results showed that from 1979 to 1998, racial inequalities in mortality from liver cancer in the U.S. were declining. But, from 1998 to 2016, of the 16,770 deaths from liver cancer among blacks, the excess relative to whites increased from 27.8 percent to 45.4 percent. Concurrently, racial inequalities in death decreased for major risk factors for liver cancer, such as alcohol and diabetes.

Cedars-Sinai to Study How Fat May Promote Cancer Spread to Liver

A diagnosis of pancreatic or colon cancer often sparks dread about the disease’s likely next destination: the liver. That’s because liver metastasis is a leading cause of death in these patients. A Cedars-Sinai scientific team has been awarded a $9.1 million grant by the National Cancer Institute to study this often-fatal process, with the goal of understanding how cancer spreads to the liver and finding ways to block it.

Heterogeneity of Liver Cancer Cells Helps Explain Tumor Progression in Patients, Mount Sinai Research Found

Many liver cancer tumors contain a highly diverse set of cells, a phenomenon known as intra-tumor heterogeneity that can significantly affect the rate at which the cancer grows, Mount Sinai researchers report. The immune system’s contribution to this heterogeneity can have major clinical implications.

Natural Toxins in the Global Food Supply Continue to Threaten the Health of Underprivileged Communities

Naturally occurring chemicals in the global food supply are known to pose a burden on worldwide health. New studies have found that a certain foodborne toxin, in addition to its known health effects,, is also linked to vaccine resistance, and for the first time the global burden of disease from foodborne arsenic, lead, cadmium, and methyl mercury has been quantified.. The Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) will present new studies as part of its Global Disease Burden Caused by Foodborne Chemicals and Toxins symposium on Monday, Dec. 9 from 1:30-3:00 p.m. as part of its 2019 Annual Meeting at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia. This symposium will provide updates to a 2015 World Health Organization (WHO) publication which analyzed the disease burdens caused by these toxins.

New research suggests proton radiation therapy can benefit patients with challenging liver tumors

Two new studies support and inform the use of proton radiation therapy to treat patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a common but often fatal type of liver cancer for which there are limited treatment options. The studies were published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology • Biology • Physics, the flagship scientific journal of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).