Basic Research on Liver Cancer

At the UPMC Liver Cancer Center, many physicians and scientists are working actively on liver cancer research.

Dr. David A.Geller and his research team are studying the molecular mechanisms responsible for apoptosis (programmed cell death) of liver cancer cells. They are trying to determine whether some of our own cellular mediators (nitric oxide) can be used to destroy established liver tumor cells. Dr. Geller also is testing a novel noninvasive radiowave machine to destroy cancer cells.

Dr. J. Wallis Marsh and his research colleagues are genotyping primary liver tumors (hepatocellular carcinoma) to identify molecular markers that will help us predict which cancers are likely to recur following liver transplantation or resection.

Dr. Allan Tsung and his research laboratory are studying how the immune system can affect the development and progression of liver cancer. They investigate how our body’s inflammatory responses to cancer can alter the local microenvironment, leading to tumor cell survival, expansion, and metastases, or — alternatively — trigger protective immune-mediated responses against the tumor cells.

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