October is Liver Cancer Awareness Month

join with the aacr to find better ways to prevent and treat liver cancer

Liver Cancer Awareness Month

The liver is one of the largest organs in the body. It filters harmful substances from the blood, produces bile that helps in the digestion of fats, and stores sugar that the body uses for energy. 

There are two types of primary liver cancer in adults – hepatocellular carcinoma and cholangiocarcinoma. Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common type of adult primary liver cancer. It is relatively rare in the United States, although its incidence is rising, principally in relation to the spread of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.

The National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program estimates that 41,210 new cases of liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2023, and approximately 29,380 people are expected to die of primary adult liver cancer. The five-year relative survival rate is just 21.6 percent.

Having hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or cirrhosis are significant risk factors for adult primary liver cancer. Liver cancer is more common in men than women, and among Asian/Pacific Islander and American Indian/Alaska Native populations.

The latest on liver cancer

Adding stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) to chemotherapy improves overall survival and slows cancer progression in patients with advanced liver cancer, according to a recent clinical trial. Read more in Cancer Today magazine: Radiation for Advanced Liver Cancer

A study found that a drug combination — tezolizumab and bevacizumab — administered following surgery for liver cancer was associated with a lower recurrence of the disease. Read more in Cancer Today magazine: Post-surgery Option for Liver Cancer.

What the AACR is Doing in Liver Cancer Research

Supporting Research through Grants and Fellowships

Daniel Arango, PhD, of Northwestern University, was awarded an AACR Career Development Award to Further Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Cancer Research for research in liver cancer.

Previous studies have identified the enzyme N-acetyltransferase 10 (NAT10) as an oncogenic driver in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the mechanisms by which NAT10 promotes HCC, and the role of RNA acetylation in tumor formation remain poorly understood. This project will investigate how NAT10 promotes HCC growth, and regulates the response of hepatic cells to stress conditions. Dr. Arango hypothesizes that NAT10-catalyzed RNA acetylation rewires protein synthesis to promote cell proliferation and resiliency to stress conditions.

For more information

Please see our page on liver cancer for more information on this disease and its prevention, screening, and treatment.