Lysophospholipid profiling of Fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma (FLHCC) and identification of novel therapeutic targets


Dr Gary Reynolds of Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham discusses his research and what it means for the future of treating childhood liver disease. This research is co-funded by BSPGHAN and Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF).

What is this study looking at?

Fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma is a liver cancer that affects adolescents. Bio-active lipids (fat-like substances) are key molecules in the blood and cells for normal development and function that can become unbalanced leading to similar effects in cancer. This research will target one of these groups of bio-active lipids (lysophospholipids) to understand more about the tumours biology and identify potential drug treatments.

Why is this research important?

Fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma is a very rare type of primary liver cancer and therefore very little is known about it. There are no proven or effective treatment options other than radical surgery or transplantation. Because of this and as it is usually discovered at a late stage, the option of surgery or transplant is only possible for 70% of patients and recurrence of the cancer as well as treatment is a big problem.

What about the future?

The results from this study will provide much needed information into this cancer and data for a more substantial grant, moving towards clinical trials for new future treatments.

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