Liver Cancer: Research and Clinical Trials

Researchers at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia are focusing on outcomes after liver transplant, disparities in access to care, and novel treatment options for biliary cancers.  As described in the pages within this section, our surgeons, interventionalists, and hepatologists are on the cutting edge in areas of transplantation, resection, and management of liver disease.  

The liver cancer research team works closely with our world-class radiology department, led by Chairman Lawrence Schwartz, MD, who developed many of the imaging assessment tools which are used internationally to assess responses to therapy.  Our group also collaborates closely with our systems biology group to assess genomic signatures for specific subtypes of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.  These new imaging technologies and genetic information will then enable earlier prediction of patients who are responding to therapy, and help to target specific drugs to patients who will best respond to them.

The liver program is backed by an outstanding basic science team led by Robert Schwabe, MD, who studies inflammatory pathways which lead to scarring in liver, identifying new therapeutic areas to explore. In addition, Regina Santella, PhD, in Environmental Health has performed groundbreaking work in exploring the relationship between environmental exposures (such as aflatoxin) on the development of hepatocellular carcinoma. Finally, our Oncology Chair, Gary Schwartz, MD, is an invaluable collaborator helping to test new drug combinations in preclinical models. Our group has also been at the forefront in studying the relationship between metabolic syndrome (typically obesity and diabetes) andHCC, which is a growing risk factor for all hepatobiliary cancers worldwide.

Our patients have the opportunity to participate in the widest range of clinical trials offered only at comprehensive medical institutions throughout the country.  Because of the breadth of our hepatobiliary program, we can provide patients with the widest variety of treatment approaches with a coordinated approach.  In every area, we have national and international leaders committed to providing not only the best care, but also the most compassionate care available.