Why are we studying liver cancer?


new cases per year worldwide


leading cause of cancer-related mortality


Europeans diagnosed in 2020


Europeans died from liver cancer in 2020

Understanding Hepatocellular Carcinoma 

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common type of liver cancer in adults, accounting for around 90% of cases. Hepatocellular carcinoma is a difficult-to-cure cancer, with a low curation rate and with poor outcome. 

About the half of all hepatocellular carcinoma patients will be treated with systemic therapies, either because they are diagnosed at advanced stages of the disease or because they progress after surgical or loco-regional therapies. 

Currently, immune-based therapies stand as the standard treatment for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma at advanced stages. Despite the demonstrated improved of patient outcomes following immune therapies, a high percentage of cases do not respond to the treatment.

Key challenges in hepatocellular carcinoma research today include:

  • A better understanding of the factors associated with risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma, particularly in patients with metabolic-associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD),
  • Identifying why current treatments may not always be effective,
  • Developing tools that can predict how hepatocellular carcinoma patients will respond to treatment.

Addressing Liver Cancer in Children

In children, hepatoblastoma (HB) is the predominant form of liver cancer, occurring at a rate of around 2 cases per million children annually. 

The standard treatment for children with hepatoblastoma involves surgical intervention followed by chemotherapy. While the majority of patients respond positively to this treatment, half of them may experience severe long-term side effects. In addition, this regimen does not achieve cure in about 30% of cases.

All this underscores the need for the identification of predictors or response to treatment, as well as novel treatments in the field of hepatoblastoma.