You can help fight the fastest increasing cause of cancer mortality in Australia

The global burden of liver cancer is rapidly increasing. This is due to late detection, limited treatment options available and recurrence of the cancer due to therapy resistance. Liver cancer is the third most common cause of death from cancer worldwide with over 600,000 patients dying from this disease every year.

The overall 5-year survival for all patients with liver cancer is a dismal 15% which drops to just 1-3% for patients with metastatic disease (when the cancer spreads to other areas of the body).

Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Australia

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), primary liver cancer, represents the fastest increasing cause of cancer mortality in Australia with the number of cases almost tripling over the past 25 years. Hepatitis B and C, and fatty liver disease significantly increases the risk of liver cancer.

As it stands, there is only one treatment available to patients with advanced HCC – a chemotherapy based treatment with limited success. The desperate need for medical research is highlighted by the dismal survival rate for primary liver cancer – just 15% five years on from diagnosis. If the cancer metastasises, meaning it spreads to other parts of the body, statistically only one person in every 100 patients will survive.

The estimated national annual cost burden of liver disease is $50.7 billion. Liver disease is a significant public health problem responsible for an increasing disease burden in Australia and worldwide. It is estimated more than 6 million Australians (over a quarter of the population) are affected by liver disease. More than 2,000 Australians die each year from chronic liver disease, cirrhosis and cancers of the liver, gall bladder and bile ducts.

 

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Current projects

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Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition of HCC: Liquid biopsy-based biomarker discovery

Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) process has important implications for our understanding of HCC progression as its role in the development and advancement of HCC has gained increasing attention in the recent years. This multi-step reprograming process resulting in a phenotype switch from...

Identifying Druggable Targets in Liver Cancer: Cancer Stem Cells targeting

Current treatment options for liver cancer patients are extremely limited and recurrence of cancer post treatment is common. Often at the root of the problem is a specialized population of cells known as cancer stem cells (CSCs). These cells are responsible for the initiation of the tumour and have...

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Opportunities for students

The Liver Cancer Unit currently has two students completing their PhD as part of GMRF’s scholarship program. If you are interested in findng out more about this program please contact the Foundation on 07 3394 7284.

 

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