- Departments, Labs and Institutes
- Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) Grants
- Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) SPORE
The overall goal of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center SPORE in Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) is to improve outcomes for HCC patients and reduce the mortality rates of HCC through early intervention. HCC is the 2nd leading cause of cancer death worldwide and the incidence of new HCC cases is projected to rise to 1,341,344 cases by 2035. In the United States (U.S.), deaths from HCC is increasing at the highest rate of all cancer sites. The highest incidence of HCC observed in the States is on the Mexico-US Border. Hispanics in South Texas have the highest rates of HCC in the U.S (37.5 diagnosed cases per 100,000). Reflecting the rising incidence trends, the number of HCC patients seeking care at MD Anderson Cancer Center has doubled over the last 5 years. The relative 5-year survival rate for HCC is 16%. This poor prognosis is due to multiple factors: 1) the majority of HCC cases are diagnosed at an advanced stage, not amenable to curative surgical treatment; 2) resected cases have high rates of recurrence; 3) HCC often occurs in the context of advanced chronic liver disease, cirrhosis in particular, limiting treatment options; 4) the first FDA-approved first line systemic therapy was sorafenib, offering a 2.8 months improvement in overall survival and a response rate of 2%; and 5) the recently approved front- and second- line therapies include other tyrosine kinase inhibitors and immunotherapy drugs, but again improvement in overall survival and response rates are very low.
Our SPORE includes three translational research projects:
- Project 1. Targeting the PD-1 pathway in HCC
- Project 2. Targeting STAT3 with an oral small molecule to treat HCC
- Project 3. Non-Invasive assessment of liver fibrosis stage and progression in obesity and diabetes; A Hispanic population study
These projects are supported by three Cores: Core 1: The Pathology and Biobanking Core; Core 2: The Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Core; and the Administration Core. This SPORE also includes a Career Enhancement Program to support HCC research from junior investigators and a Developmental Research Program to support innovative translational research in HCC.
Tiffany L. Calderone
Molecular and Cellular Oncology
MD Anderson Cancer Center
1515 Holcombe Blvd., Unit 1051
Houston, Texas 77030