Investigating Mechanisms in Liver Tumorigenesis to Improve Cancer Treatment Therapies
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the third leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Tragically, the majority of patients with HCC present with disease that is too advanced to benefit from potentially curative treatments such as surgical resection or ablation. Thus far only one drug, the multikinase inhibitor sorafenib, has been shown to improve survival in patients with advanced HCC.
The overarching goal of the Evason laboratory is to investigate mechanisms involved in liver tumorigenesis in order to develop improved therapies to treat this deadly cancer. A major subset of HCC is defined by mutations in the CTNNB1 gene encoding β-catenin, an integral component of the Wnt signaling pathway. These β-catenin-activated HCC represent 20-40% of human HCC, and our current research focuses primarily on these tumors.