The Asia-Pacific Hepatocellular Carcinoma (AHCC) Trials Group hosted its much anticipated 3rd Symposium of the Singapore Liver Cancer Consortium (SLCC) on 3 May 2019 at the Singapore National Eye Centre to a resounding success.
In attendance were international members of the AHCC Trials Group, other HCC researchers, healthcare professionals and industry collaborators. As in the last two symposiums, the latest treatments in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) were presented and discussed as were developments in pre-clinical and clinical studies on HCC in the Asia–Pacific.
Said Prof Pierce Chow, Senior Consultant, Division of Surgical Oncology, National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS): "In pursuance of our aims to bring about better clinical outcomes for patients with HCC, the AHCC Trials Group is constantly exploring collaborations with investigators from both academic research institutes and industry partners."
The AHCC trials group has recently initiated 2 prospective studies on HCC in the Asia-Pacific (AHCC protocols 07 and 08). Prof Pierce Chow is the Protocol Chair of the AHCC Trials Group.
The Asia-Pacific Hepatocellular Carcinoma (AHCC) Trials Group is a collaborative group formed in 1997 by clinicians treating HCC in major medical centres in the Asia-Pacific region. The aims of the trials group are to conduct preventive and therapeutic trials in HCC, to carry out basic and translational research in this field and to develop training and educational programmes pertaining to HCC. With these objectives, the trials group holds annual general meetings and symposia that bring together international experts to create opportunities to network and share updates and research ideas.
At the 3rd symposium on 3 May 2019, local and overseas researchers on HCC including international key opinion leaders from Australia, Hong Kong and Japan presented treatment updates and early results of their studies.
Prof Chow summarized the progress of on-going studies conducted by the trials group namely, the TCR Flagship Program, Precision Medicine in Liver Cancer Asia-Pacific Network (the PLANet Study, AHCC07) and the HCC Registry in Asia (AHCC08). High intra-tumoral heterogeneity exists in HCC and the AHCC07 study is a multi-centre, prospective genomics-immunomics study that leverages on a surgical cohort for multi-region sampling of resected HCC. Patients are followed up to disease recurrence when recurrent HCC are similarly sampled and their genomic and immunomic profiles compared with that of the index resections to identify actionable biomarkers.
A recent development has been the inclusion of a North American site at Duke Durham, which is expected to be initiated in Q3 this year. This new site will increase diversity and allow comparison of the genomic-immunomic profile of HCC in the Asia-Pacific with that of a separate population. The study has also expanded its scope (through successful grant applications), to include parallel epigenomic and metabolomic studies to further understand key mechanisms driving HCC.
Separately the AHCC08 study is a multi-country prospective registry study of HCC patients from more than 30 sites in 9 countries of the Asia-Pacific. This registry will provide an insight into the different treatment journeys of HCC patients in Asia. To date, more than 1,500 patients have been recruited in the registry. Preliminary results have been presented in international conferences like ASCO GI 2019.
The symposium was attended by more than 120 attendees, including 30 overseas investigators. Members of the trials group had their general meeting in the afternoon of the same day. The next symposium and meeting will be next year. The AHCC Trials Group thanks all investigators and collaborators for their constant support over the last 22 years.
The following presentations were made at the symposium. The AHCC Trials Group would like to thank all experts for sharing valuble insights and knowledge:
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