The research activity focused on liver cancer spans from basic and translational research to clinical trials, epidemiology, clinical psychology, radiotherapy, surgery, and includes different areas and topics as:
Liver resection: the main focus is the development and refinement of surgical techniques able to simplify the procedures and improve peri-operative outcomes, as with laparoscopic resections. Surgical management of liver metastases (mainly from colo-rectal cancer) is also applied, with multifaced approaches: liver-first approach, two-stage hepatectomy, ALLPS, portal vein embolization (PVE), ablation associated with conventional and minimally invasive liver resection techiques.
Liver transplantation (LT): We have the sole transplant program focused on cancer among any other oncology Institution in Italy. We have developed transplant indications and produced unprecedented results on primary liver cancer (HCC) and metastases form neuroendocrine tumors (NET) as well. Innovative studies are ongoling also in case of colo-rectal-cancer
Clinical trials: Different international clinical trials for systemic or locoregional treatments of primary liver tumors are ongoing, especially for radioembolization, molecular target agents, immunotherapy in various combinations.
Preclinical research: among the preclinical/translational research projects, the definition of a gene-expression profile of a large case collection of HCC (hepatocellular carcinoma) specimens (and related liver) allowed to identify a pH/ myeloid/stemness Index Score, which appears to predict time to recurrence after radical surgery and is presently under validation in conjunction with the Mount Sinai Hospital, NY. Moreover, bispecific Antibodies anti-TRAILR2/anti-CD3 have been tested in many different types of cancer including liver carcinoma, and showed potent cytotoxic effects.
Many advances in liver surgery, diagnostic and interventional radiology as well as medical oncology contributed to the creation of multidisciplinary specialized teams.
The Liver Unit is part of the University of Milan, a member of the Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) Genomic Consortium, a member of the EASL Clinical Practice Guideline board and of major Hepatology and oncology Organizations. Students, post-graduates, visiting physicians and trainees are part of the academic activity and training programs of the Liver Cancer Unit.