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Last Updated: 09/21/23

Liver SPOREs

In 2023, an estimated 49,210 adults in the U.S. will be diagnosed with liver and biliary tract cancers and over 30,000 deaths are expected to result from these cancers. This includes hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), which is the most common form of liver cancer, and a form of biliary cancer called cholangiocarcinoma. The diagnosis rate for this family of cancers is increasing. For example, the number of new cases of liver cancer diagnosed globally is expected to increase by 55% between 2020 and 2040. Hepatobiliary cancer is most common in sub-Saharan Africa and southeast Asia. While targeted therapy using sorafenib is commonly used as liver cancer therapy, this drug only extends time to progression by a few months and there is a dire need for more effective therapies. The first hepatobiliary SPORE was awarded in 2018 to the Mayo Clinic, and collaborators at other institutions, to carry out four projects focusing on novel approaches to hepatobiliary cancer diagnosis and therapy. A second SPORE in hepatocellular cancer was awarded in 2019 to the University of Texas/MD Anderson Cancer Center. This SPORE includes 3 projects that are evaluating checkpoint therapy in neoadjuvant and adjuvant HCC settings, determining the prognostic significance of phosphorylated STAT3 as a biomarker for postoperative recurrence, and performing extensive screening for liver fibrosis in obese and diabetic Hispanics in South Texas.