Liver Tumor Clinic Offers Multidisciplinary Care, Access to Clinical Trials More than 750,000 people are diagnosed with liver cancer across the globe each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recognizing that the optimal treatment for liver cancer involves input from many different special- ists, the University of Chicago Medicine recently launched a new comprehensive Liver Tumor Clinic. The Clinic brings together a multidisciplinary team of surgeons, hepatologists, radiologists, medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, and radiation oncologists that meets weekly to review each case to determine the best treatments for every patient. Together, they have expertise in both end-stage liver disease and liver cancer, including primary and metastatic disease, and the ability to handle com- plex cases and patients without curative options. UChicago Medicine’s Liver Tumor Clinic also offers innovative clinical trials for previously treated and untreated patients, including trials of new immunotherapies and combination therapies. “One of the things that distinguishes us as an institution is the availability of and the number of clinical trials that we have open in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC),” said Manish Sharma, MD, assistant professor of medicine. Sharma often treats patients who aren’t transplant or resection candidates, or have had those procedures in the past and the disease has recurred. Clinical trials offer these patients hope. Liver cancer, unlike other cancers, does not have many known molecular features that can be targeted. Clinical trials are important for the advancement of treatment options for liver cancer because the standard of care has been centered on one drug, a kinase inhibitor called sorafenib, for the past decade. Sharma is currently recruiting for phase I, phase II and phase III trials for patients with HCC, the most common type of liver cancer. Clinical trials testing immunotherapies and combination therapies aim to uncover new and better treatment options. “We currently have a frontline study of the immunotherapy nivolumab versus sorafenib for HCC, which we’ve put six or seven patients on over the last year,” Sharma said. “The study has accrued 700 patients globally, and if it’s successful, it’s going to lead to drug approval for nivolumab for HCC.” Sharma and colleague Stanley Liauw, MD, associate professor of radiation and cellular oncology, are also collaborating on an upcoming clinical trial that would combine stereotactic body radiation therapy with immunotherapy for patients with HCC. For Sharma, the multidisciplinary approach of the Clinic not only provides more access to clinical trials, but also ensures that patients receive accurate diag- noses and the best treatment options. “For most patients, it benefits them to get a second opinion early on so that they can consider all available treat- ment options, including clinical trials that may not be available in their local community,” Sharma said. The Clinic brings together a multidisciplinary team that meets weekly to review each case to determine the best treatments for every patient. Liver Tumor Clinic multidisciplinary team 10 PATHWAYS TO DISCOVERY SPRING 2017 News