Liver, Hepatitis and Prostate Research

Liver Cancer and Hepatitis

The HMRI Liver Center’s clinical research programs are directly related to our customized patient-centered care and treatment. The HMRI Liver Center’s research focuses on the natural history and clinical course of viral and autoimmune diseases affecting the liver and has authored more than 230 peer-reviewed articles in these areas. Our participation in multi-centered clinical research trials using the most advanced drugs, allows us to deliver medical care on the cutting-edge of medical and pharmaceutical technologies. These multi-centered clinical trials have led to FDA approval of medications which have dramatically impacted the length and quality of life for patients living with chronic liver diseases.

Liver Diseases

The HMRI Liver Center hepatocellular research studies have elucidated the pathogenesis of chronic viral infections and the role it plays in the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Together with leading clinicians and research collaboration with UCLA, the HMRI Liver Center utilizes medical treatments which have significantly prolonged the lives of patients with hepatobiliary malignancies. In addition, HMRI is continuing to search for liver cancer molecular markers which will enhance early detection and future treatment modalities for patients afflicted with this highly fatal cancer.

Our Liver Center, under the direction of Dr. Myron Tong, has a long history of studying novel therapies to treat a variety of liver diseases including new medicines that can cure Hepatitis C and treat Hepatitis B. He is also studying the natural history of many liver diseases. He is involved in a host of multicenter clinical trials funded by pharmaceutical companies.  These new therapies have revolutionized treatment of liver disease and have allowed improved survival and quality of life.

Prostate Cancer Research

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer fatalities in American men today. However four out of five men, primarily those with low risk disease, die of causes other than prostate cancer. We know that many of these men are being unnecessary treated agressively. The problem is that our tools for risk assessment are not up to the challenge of conservative active surveillance, formerly called watchful waiting. Nobody wants to miss the golden moment for intervention when it is not too late for cure.

Our clinical practice diagnoses and manages many men with prostate cancer. Every patient undergoes ultrasonography at the time of biopsy for guidance of the biopsy to sites within the prostate with a high likelihood of cancer. Unfortunately today’s ultrasound does not yield findings sufficiently diagnostic of cancer to allow conservative management. Our collaborators at Los Alamos National Laboratory have invented an ultrasonic tomographic technique to address this problem. We feel that the technique is ready for a first ever in humans clinical trial. The study is virtually risk free. It has a very good chance of providing technological advances sufficient to provide more diagnostic imaging. This will permit the use of ultrasonography to meet a critically important need in the conservative management of prostate cancer.  It will allow more men to be managed  with active surveillance with less fear of missing the golden moment.