By the Numbers
By the Numbers
September 25, 2018
3 min read

7 gastro, liver cancer stories you may have missed

You've successfully added to your alerts. You will receive an email when new content is published.

Click Here to Manage Email Alerts

We were unable to process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this issue please contact

Caner rates continue to increase worldwide, including gastrointestinal and hepatic carcinomas. As the need for improved therapies and potential curative options increases, researchers have focused their efforts to determine demographic risk factors, incidence probabilities, and survival outcomes.

Healio presents the following reports on risks for and outcomes of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, colorectal cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, and esophageal adenocarcinoma.

Obesity, diabetes linked to increased intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma risk

Results of a pooled analysis and systematic review showed an increased risk for intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma among patients with obesity and diabetes.

“As rates of [intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC)] are increasing in most populations, it is critical to understand the underlying etiology, especially as prevalence of obesity and diabetes is also increasing,” Jessica L. Petrick, PhD, MPH, from the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, and colleagues wrote. “This may help to identify primary prevention measures for ICC.” Read more

Tailoring FIT positivity threshold by age, sex may maximize colorectal cancer screening

At the conventional fecal immunochemical test positivity threshold, programmatic sensitivity for detection of colorectal cancer decreased as age increased and was higher in men than women, according to data published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

“The positivity threshold, or the point at which FIT are designated as positive and screening participants get a colonoscopy, can be varied,” Kevin Selby, MD, MAS, from Kaiser Permanente Northern California, told Healio. “Screening programs around the world actually use very different thresholds.” Read more

High BMI linked to HCC incidence in HBV seroclearance cases

Analysis of hepatocellular carcinoma risk factors among patients with varying hepatitis B surface antigen status showed that higher BMI was a risk factor among those with HBsAg seroclearance compared with those with persistent HBsAg positivity.

“Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) seroclearance is considered to be one of the most important endpoints of chronic HBV infection and is associated with a reduced risk of HCC,” Ci Song, MD, from Nanjing Medical University in China, and colleagues wrote. Read more

Liquid biopsy identifies chronic liver disease, liver cancer vs. healthy blood

A recently developed liquid biopsy cell-sorting device was able to detect circulating epithelial cells of hepatocyte origin in blood from healthy individuals, patients with chronic liver disease without hepatocellular cancer, and those with HCC, according to a recently published study.

Irun Bhan, MD, from the Massachusetts General Hospital, and colleagues stated that hepatic circulating epithelial cells (CECs) could serve as a significant biomarker in the diagnosis and monitoring of CLD and HCC. Read more


Barrett’s esophagus tied to esophageal adenocarcinoma survival

Patients with esophageal adenocarcinoma who displayed Barrett’s esophagus or intestinal metaplasia had better survival than patients without, according to research published in Gastroenterology.

Tarek Sawas, MD, of the division of gastroenterology and hepatology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and colleagues wrote that BE serves as a precursor lesion in many cases of esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC), but in patients without BE or intestinal metaplasia (IM), it has been assumed that the cancer overgrows or replaces the lesion. However, the researchers hypothesized that there could be evidence of two completely different forms of EAC. Read more

First patient enrolled in phase 3 trial of liver cancer immunotherapy

SillaJen and Lee’s Pharmaceutical Holdings announced the first patient enrolled in China in the phase 3 PHOCUS trial Pexa-Vec, an oncolytic immunotherapy for advanced liver cancer, according to a press release.

“The PHOCUS trial is actively enrolling patients in 10 countries around the world at this point,” Ghassan Abou-Alfa, MD, PHOCUS study global principle investigator, said in the release. “We are keenly aware of the unmet need in liver cancer in China, and it is our sincere hope that we will be able to offer Pexa-Vec to these patients in the years ahead.” Read more

Text message tips can improve quality of colonoscopy prep

Reinforcing patient education with text messages sent in the days prior to a colonoscopy can help improve bowel cleanliness and adenoma detection while reducing discomfort, according to research published in Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.

Benjamin Walter, MD, of University Hospital Ulm, in Germany, and colleagues, wrote that patients are often put off by the recommended split-dose preparation, leading to even lower low participation rates in colorectal cancer screening. Read more