The liver cancer program is a highly interdisciplinary group of investigators dedicated to reducing the incidence and mortality of liver cancer. The program fosters interdisciplinary research in basic science, genetics, clinical medicine, and cancer prevention between faculty at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Washington, and the clinical community to improve liver cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis and treatment.
Patients are seen at the Liver Tumor Clinic at University of Washington Medical Center, the first clinic of its kind in the Pacific Northwest. The team is composed of highly specialized liver cancer surgeons, medical and radiation oncologist, interventional and diagnostic radiologist, pathologist, as well as hepatologist. This integrative collection of experts lends itself to the delivery of the most optimal diagnostic and treatment plans for patients. At the clinic, where nearly 600 visits are made annually, patients can expect an array of treatments: minimally invasive procedures, liver transplants, and a living-related donor program in addition to the therapeutic trials conducted in the Fred Hutch/University of Washington Cancer Consortium. The liver transplant group is considered one of the strongest in the nation.
At the forefront of minimally invasive therapies, the Liver Tumor clinic recently launched the Center for Advanced Minimally Invasive Liver Oncologic Therapy (CAMILOT) at University of Washington Medical Center. CAMILOT is a first-of-its-kind organization in the region dedicated to treating patients with liver cancers using the most advanced and least invasive approaches. The Center brings together experts across multiple disciplines to develop, refine and deliver treatments to eradicate liver cancers while preserving liver function and patients’ overall health. The principal objective is to effectively treat primary and secondary liver cancers using minimally invasive cutting-edge techniques, to accelerate patients’ recovery and to enhance their longevity and well-being. Traditional therapies often required protracted in-hospital recovery; the center strives to reduce the hospital stay, often delivering therapies as outpatient procedures. Over the past year, more than 320 treatments were performed using minimally invasive procedures.
In the liver cancer research program, there is considerable focus on growing collaborations, developing new models to test novel treatments and biomarkers, and understanding the pathogenesis for liver cancer. Innovative new models, including tissue slice cultures and other “living” models, provide insight that leads to investigator-initiated clinical trials and improved care for liver cancer patients. Learn more
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Dr. Yeung is a board-certified surgeon and founder of the UW Medicine Liver Tumor Clinic. His research focuses on the genetic mechanisms of tumorigenesis with emphasis on tumor suppressor genes and hereditary cancers. Dr. Yeung’s work exploits a unique animal model of hereditary cancer to study the multi-step process of tumor development. Current projects in the Yeung lab address the mechanisms of liver cancer, focusing on an insulin pathway, insulin-AKT-mTORC1, which yields implications for human non-alcoholic liver disease and tumors. As clinical biomarkers for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are very limited, Dr. Yeung also conducts studies to identify and validate serum metabolic markers that could potentially help detect various etiologies of HCC.