Research is an integral part of the Foundation’s missions. Diagnostic progress as well as therapeutic advances are always the result of research projects. The Foundation is investing in promising projects, the results of which will have implications for improving the care of patients with liver cancer.
The Foundation has been supporting the cohort of patients with liver cancer for several years. Patients who agree to participate answer questions about their lifestyle and quality of life and provide access to their records to anonymously collect data for research purposes. This cohort, which includes several hundred patients, allows us to understand liver cancer much better.
The Foundation supports research projects that are interested in lifestyles and liver cancer. Numerous epidemiological data suggest that regular physical activity decreases the risk of breast cancer, colon cancer and also prostate cancer. The Foundation’s support made it possible to highlight for the first time the protective role of physical activity in reducing the risk of developing liver cancer.
There are several risk factors that can put a person at risk of developing liver cancer.
First of all, cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is a change in the normal architecture of the liver. Cirrhosis is the culmination of all chronic liver disease, whether it be hepatitis C, hepatitis B, alcoholic liver disease, for example. Inheritance also plays a role. People whose family members have suffered from liver cancer are themselves at risk. Finally, obesity and diabetes are now well recognized risk factors for liver cancer.
The liver is a painless organ, and patients develop cirrhosis and liver cancer without having any symptoms. Since treatment can cure patients diagnosed at an early stage, a test that can find tiny tumors is absolutely essential. At this time, patients at risk should have their liver sonographic exam every six months. Alpha-fetoprotein is an existing marker that is measured in the blood. It is far from perfect with a high percentage of false positives or negatives. The Foundation supports metabolomics projects in search of better markers.