After a 10-Year Lull, Trials in Liver Cancer Show Promise

Christin Melton, ELS
Published: Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017
Ghassan K. Abou-Alfa, MD

Ghassan K. Abou-Alfa, MD

The incidence of liver cancer in the United States has risen sharply since 1980, with the American Cancer Association reporting an approximate annual increase of 3% in women and 4% in men from 2004 to 2013.1 Liver cancer remains difficult to cure, and the mortality rate from liver cancer has increased an estimated 3% each year between 2010 and 2014. The 5-year survival rate for early-stage liver cancer is only 31%, which decreases to 3% for liver cancer with distant metastases.2

program moderated by Ghassan K. Abou-Alfa, MD. They also reviewed investigational second-line therapies and expressed optimism that some of these therapies may one day improve outcomes for patients.

Early-Stage Liver Cancer

The treatment of liver cancer requires a multidisciplinary approach. “More so than many other cancers, we really rely on our colleagues across disciplines in hepatology, radiation, [and] surgery,” R. Kate Kelley, MD, said. Standard treatment for early-stage liver cancer is typically surgical resection or liver transplantation.3
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