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Liver Cancer

  • Posted: 04/29/2009

Taking Part in Cancer Research

Cancer research has led to real progress in liver cancer detection and treatment. Because of research, people with liver cancer can look forward to a better quality of life. Continuing research offers hope that, in the future, even more people with this disease will be treated successfully.

Doctors all over the world are conducting many types of clinical trials (research studies in which people volunteer to take part). Clinical trials are designed to find out whether new approaches are safe and effective.

Doctors are studying many types of treatment and their combinations:

  • Liver transplant: The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, an agency of the National Institutes of Health, is sponsoring the Adult to Adult Living Donor Liver Transplantation Cohort Study. This trial will study whether it's better to transplant a whole liver from a deceased donor or a part of a liver from a living donor.
  • Radiofrequency ablation and chemotherapy: Doctors are studying the combination of radiofrequency ablation with an anticancer drug.
  • Targeted therapy: Doctors are studying new targeted therapies with people who have liver cancer.

Even if the people in a trial do not benefit directly, they may still make an important contribution by helping doctors learn more about liver cancer and how to control it. Although clinical trials may pose some risks, doctors do all they can to protect their patients.

If you're interested in being part of a clinical trial, talk with your doctor. You may want to read the NCI booklet Taking Part in Cancer Treatment Research Studies. It describes how treatment studies are carried out and explains their possible benefits and risks.

The NCI Web site includes a section on clinical trials at It has general information about clinical trials as well as detailed information about specific ongoing studies of liver cancer. The NCI Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237) and at LiveHelp can answer questions and provide information about clinical trials.