Physicians who treat hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) have had limited treatment options, but because of new developments with such therapies as immunotherapy, options have expanded.
Sunday’s Hepatobilliary Neoplasia SIG program, which begins at 2:00 pm in Room 157/160 Moscone North/South, will highlight these new developments in HCC treatment, especially systemic therapy for advanced HCC, according to program co-chair Charmaine Stewart, MD, FACP, AGAF, FAASLD, Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Josep M Llovet, MD, Founder and Director of the Liver Cancer Program and Professor of Medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine is co-chair.
“We hope that at the end of the program, the attendees will have a greater appreciation for the advances that have been made in the systemic treatment of advanced HCC, a better understanding of the pharmacology of the agents that are used for targeting HCC and how these therapies aim to have an impact on HCC, the treatment of which is hampered by resistance to some agents,” said Dr. Stewart.
She added that all of the speakers are excellent researchers and speakers who have contributed significantly to the field, and the program has been developed to appeal to not only clinicians who treat patients with cirrhosis and immigrants from countries where hepatobiliary neoplasia (HBN) are common, such as Asia and subSaharan Africa, but also trainees of hepatology and clinical investigators.
“The rising incidence of HCC, due mainly to effects of HCV infection, has long-range impact nationally and globally. There are preventative measures that can be taken, some of which have been shown to be effective, such as immunization from hepatitis B,” said Dr. Stewart. “However, one of the greatest potential impacts is outreach: education, educating people and practitioners in developing countries about prevention and treatment of viral hepatitis, diagnosis of HCC, and management.”
She noted that these opportunities are ones that the HBN SIG members could participate in on a more global level.
“The HBN SIG offers a forum for learning about trends in HBN management, and the potential for collaborative research with other SIGS, since HCC is a complication of end-stage liver disease, and, therefore, affects the clinical sequelae of a variety of liver diseases,” said Dr. Stewart. “The HBN SIG also offers an opportunity to impact patient and practitioner education nationally and internationally.”