Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) is a serious problem in patients with cirrhosis that is increasing in prevalence in the United States. Improved understanding of the biology of HCC is leading to advances in therapy. While the best approach to screening for HCC remains controversial, multiple treatment options are now available when the disease is identified at an early stage. Therapy for HCC should be individualized based on the severity of liver disease and tumor size and location.
• Small lesions are amenable to surgical resection in patients with compensated liver function in the absence of significant portal hypertension
• Liver transplantation can be curative in patients with decompensated liver disease who have a limited tumor burden
• Living Donor Liver Transplantation can provide life-saving therapy to patients with rapidly progressing HCC who do not have high priority to obtain a cadaveric organ
• Ablative techniques, including chemoembolization, ethanol injection, and radiofrequency ablation, can serve as a bridge to transplantation
• New systemic chemotherapeutic agents are being developed for the treatment of patients with advanced HCC
At UIC, we have a multidisciplinary team dedicated to managing patients with HCC. The UIC HCC team includes:
• Surgeons who are highly experienced in hepatobiliary surgery and liver transplantation
• A dedicated oncologist with expertise in liver cancer
• A skilled interventional radiologist with extensive experience in performing ablative therapy for HCC
• A tumor nurse whose sole responsibility is to manage and coordinate the integrated care for patients with HCC
At UIC we have developed a premier Living Donor Liver Transplant Program. We were one of only 11 programs in the United States last year that performed more than 10 living donor transplants. We have been highly successful in managing selected patients with HCC with living donor liver transplantation.
We also have a serious interest in new systemic chemotherapies for HCC. Currently, we are one of only five centers in the country conducting a study of a novel polyamine analog for the treatment of advanced HCC.
The UIC HCC team is dedicated to providing an integrated and individualized approach to address the complexities of each patient with HCC. Patients are typically seen by multiple members of the team at their first visit. All cases are discussed weekly by the entire team to reach an optimal treatment plan. We believe that our unique team approach allows us to better treat our patients with compassion and respect.
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