Liver Cancer Awareness Month

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 41,260 new cases of liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancer will be diagnosed in the United States and some 30,520 people are expected to die of primary adult liver cancer in 2022. The five-year relative survival rate is just 20.8 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.

October is Liver Cancer Awareness Month.

What is the AACR Doing in The Area of Liver Cancer Research?

Liver Cancer-Focused Conference

In May 2022, the AACR held the AACR Special Conference: Advances in the Pathogenesis and Molecular Therapies of Liver Cancer in Boston, Massachusetts.


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 N-acetyltransferase 10 (NAT10) as an oncogenic driver in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). NAT10 is an evolutionarily conserved enzyme that regulates protein synthesis through the acetylation of RNA molecules. 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, providing a cancer-competent proteome that promotes cell proliferation and resiliency to stress conditions.

Dr. Arango said, “I am thrilled and honored to receive the 2022 AACR Career Development Award to Further Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Cancer Research. This award inspires my research and mentoring goals, while providing a more diverse and inclusive environment in cancer research.”