Michael R. Charlton, MD, MBBS, discusses the interaction between liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma.
Michael R. Charlton, MD, MBBS, professor of medicine, director, Center for Liver Diseases, and co-director, Transplant Institute, University of Chicago Medicine, discusses the interaction between liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
In recent years, the patient population that requires liver transplantation has changed, says Charlton. Historically, the most common reason for a liver transplant was hepatitis C, Charlton says. However, the incidence in hepatitis C infections, as well as liver cancer arising from hepatitis C infections, has decreased, Charlton explains.
Notably, the incidence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and alcohol-related liver disease has risen, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, says Charlton. As a result, HCC cases are also rising and these are likely to continue rising over time, Charlton explains.
However, the synergy between nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or alcohol-related liver disease and HCC informs the likelihood of a patient developing liver failure and requiring a liver transplant, says Charlton. As such, the HCC paradigm will likely need to move toward more personalized treatment approached for individuals with liver disease, concludes Charlton.