Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common form of liver cancer. Patients with advanced disease at diagnosis typically are not candidates for potentially curative treatment options, such as resection, liver transplantation, or ablation. Additionally, liver cirrhosis and hepatic dysfunction often complicate treatment. Advances in the understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of HCC have broadened the potential for effective molecular targeted therapies, and advances in immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy are now transforming the way clinicians treat HCC.
Of particular concern, HCC incidence and mortality rates have risen among American Indian/Alaska Native, Hispanic, and black populations in the United States in recent years. Incidence of HCC is also expected to increase in older populations due to hepatitis C, a risk factor for development of HCC, among other comorbid conditions such as cirrhosis, obesity, diabetes, and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, which are also on the rise. Screening and surveillance of these conditions that contribute to the development of HCC occur less often in many Hispanic and black populations, which can delay diagnosis and leave them ineligible for curative resection or transplantation due to advanced disease, leading to worse prognosis.
In this activity, the expert faculty will review health disparities, inequities, and care variations in HCC patients, and how to overcome these challenges to establish health equity for patients with HCC and reduce disproportionate patient outcomes. Recent therapeutic advances with immunotherapy and evidence-based treatment guideline recommendations will also be reviewed to ensure the optimal treatment of patients with HCC.