Hepatobiliary cancers include tumors that start in cells of the liver, bile ducts, and gallbladder. Together, Hepatobiliary Cancers Working Group (HCWG) members conduct research to better understand and treat these tumors. The HCWG has three broad goals:
- Identify and avoid defective cellular functions that cause hepatobiliary cancers
- Develop effective treatments
- Characterize inherited factors that raise the risk of these cancers
A Sample of Current Projects
- Banking tissue for chronic disease research. Coordinating with Huntsman Cancer Institute’s Biorepository and Molecular Pathology Shared Resource, the HCWG collects, processes, and stores blood and tissue samples for current and future research studies. Human tissue specimens allow cancer researchers to zero in on cellular activity to better understand why and how cancer cells develop and proliferate.
- Learning the natural history of biliary cancers. Primary sclerosing cholangitis and inflammatory bowel disease are associated with a high risk for developing biliary cancers. The HCWG studies a variety of tissue samples from patients who have these conditions to learn how cells change as cancer develops. This knowledge could lead to diagnostic tests that catch biliary cancer in its early stages. It could also help researchers identify and create new drugs to prevent or treat biliary cancer.