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Researchers Have "New Attitude" About Liver Cancer, Expert Says

Gina Columbus @ginacolumbusonc
Published: Friday, Mar 03, 2017

Lewis R. Roberts, MB, ChB, PhD

Lewis R. Roberts, MB, ChB, PhD

While the liver cancer landscape is not as explosive with novel agents as some other solid tumor types, systemic and surgical advancements are still having an impact on the lives of patients.

State of the Science Summit on Gastrointestinal Malignancies, Roberts, a professor of Medicine at Mayo Clinic, spoke on the current state of HCC. In an interview, he discussed the recent advancements and emphasized the importance of a multidisciplinary approach.

OncLive: What did you discuss during this State of the Science Summit?

Roberts: I tried to remind people that, of all of the major cancers, liver cancer is the most deadly. People are most likely to die within 1 year of diagnosis for liver cancer than for most of the other major cancers.

Having that sense of it’s now a disease that’s treated not such individual specialties, but really by multidisciplinary groups, is the big message.

You mentioned an increase in liver cancer incidence. What are some of the lesser-known risk factors of this disease?

For a long time, the major thing that has driven the rise in liver cancer in this country is the hepatitis C virus. Up until 1990, we didn’t have any way of diagnosing hepatitis C so it became quite prevalent. Then, after people had the infection for 20 or 30 years, they would get cirrhosis or scarring of the liver, then that would lead to development of cancer in the liver. We typically think of people who are born between 1945 and 1965—those are the “boomers” generation—as being the generation that is hardest hit.
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