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About Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC)

While HCC is the 7th most common cancer in the world and afflicts almost a million people yearly, it is the 4th most important cause of cancer death (WHO). There is great geographical variation in the distribution of HCC with 80% of the burden found in the Asia-Pacific region. In Asia, it is the 3rd most common cancer. While surgical resection (and in some cases, liver transplantation) offers patients with HCC the most consistent and significant survival advantage, only around 20% of these patients are diagnosed early enough to undergo surgical procedures as a curative therapy.

Patients in intermediate and advanced stage HCC may benefit from existing therapies that prolong life and improve the quality of life. Even with surgical resection, long term survival of HCC patients has remained unsatisfactory due to recurrent carcinoma and progressive liver disease. Chemoprevention in patients at high risk for HCC has also not been clearly established. There is thus an urgent need for more clinical trials in HCC (palliative, adjuvant and chemoprevention) to develop new and efficacious therapies, especially in parts of the world where the disease burden is highest. Pivotal clinical studies are required to change clinical practice and actualize precision oncology in HCC to improve patient outcomes.