NEW YORK – Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine have received a $5.5 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to support three research projects focused on liver cancer, the university said on Thursday.
The projects will be funded for five years and will involve research into genetic factors implicated in liver cancer risk and efforts to compile a database of DNA samples to analyze for biomarker development. Researchers will also analyze factors that could help prevent liver cancer in patients with diabetes, liver disease, and certain lifestyle factors like obesity and alcohol use.
One project will explore the role of genetic, metabolic, and lifestyle factors in the development of liver cancer. The researchers will analyze data from patients with metabolic dysfunction-associated fatty liver disease and identify genetic and metabolic biomarkers, along with lifestyle factors, that can assist in risk stratification in liver cancer.
"We want to move this disease into the era of precision medicine using genetic, metabolic, lifestyle, and demographic risk factors to create an index that predicts overall disease risk," Hashem El-Serag, principal investigator of the study and chair of the Department of Medicine at Baylor, said in a statement.
The other two projects will explore whether certain medications used for diabetes treatment could act as preventive treatment for liver cancer, including whether genetic factors play a role in response to prevention treatments, and examine liver cancer prevention measures among patients with metabolic dysfunction.