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 42,230 new cases of liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancer will be diagnosed in the United States and some 30,230 people are expected to die of primary adult liver cancer in 2021. The five-year survival rate is just 20.3 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 This Area?

Liver Cancer-Focused Conference

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


Robert Eil, MD, of Oregon Health & Science University was awarded a 2020 AACR-MPM Oncology Charitable Foundation Transformative Cancer Research Grants for his project “Targeting the ionic checkpoint on T cell antitumor function.”

Dr. Eil will test the hypothesis that cancer cell death suppresses T-cell function through potassium (K+)-sensitive signal transduction.

“Receipt of this AACR-MPM Oncology Charitable Foundation Transformative Cancer Research Grant represents a critical milestone in my development as an independent scientist,” Dr. Eil said.

The Transformative Cancer Research Grants Program provides generous funds to investigators so they can pursue innovative research which has the potential to help guide and advance cancer treatment and make a significant impact for cancer patients.