Liver Disease is the one chronic disorder that's increasing in frequency with a steady rise in deaths each year.

Professor Roger Williams CBE

Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the fifth most common cancer worldwide and the second leading cause of death from cancer accounting for 745,000 deaths in 782,000 reported cases annually.  Our studies are directed to the identification of specific immunotherapeutic targets for HBV-induced HCC and biomarkers of response. To do this, the group is working alongside large global multi-centred clinical trials of immuno-therapeutic agents such as Nivolumab in primary HCC with or without chronic viral infection and are analysing >3000 samples collected from these trials. In parallel, the group is developing a therapeutic vaccination strategy for HCC and is working in collaboration with Prof Farzin Farzaneh (KCL) and Dr Abid Suddle (KCH). The vaccine has been developed using bioinformatics with in silico predictions in collaboration with Dr Adrian Shepherd from University of London and a pool of 30 peptides have been now been produced. Preliminary in vitro results with a TLR adjuvant are very promising and induction of an anti-tumour response is strongly stimulated. Further testing with ex-vivo HCC models is currently being undertaken with a plan to move this to a first-in-man study soon.


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