PI:  Ron C. Gaba, M.D., Assistant Professor, Radiology


Title:  Relationship Between Gene Expression in Treated Hepatocellular Carcinoma Fixed Tissues and Tumor Response after Transarterial Chemoembolization



Transarterial chemoembolization is an established treatment for surgically unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). This therapy exploits the predominant hepatic arterial perfusion of hypervascular liver cancer to administer targeted tumor therapy using chemotherapeutic agents, and also aims to devascularize neoplastic tissue by occluding feeding arteries. Cell death produced by chemoembolization is thought to represent additive results of both chemotherapy­related cytotoxic insult and embolization­induced ischemic effects, and results in approximately 60% response rates. Treatment failure may confound 30­40% of chemoembolization procedures. While chemotherapy resistance and tumor hypoxia have been linked with tumor progression, an understanding of the fundamental effects influencing chemoembolization treatment outcome is undetermined, and represents a fundamental gap in knowledge on the topic of chemoembolization. As such, the goal of this proposed project is to enhance the understanding of chemoembolization treatment outcomes by investigating the genetic response of previously treated tumors and correlating induced gene expression with pathologic and radiographic tumor response outcomes. An improved understanding of the genetic mechanisms underlying HCC response after chemoembolization is an essential basis for future studies aimed to optimizing chemoembolic tumor drug delivery and devascularization.