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  • Writer's pictureDr. Robert A. Nagourney, MD

Breakthrough for Young Patients with a Rare Form of Liver Cancer

Presentation at American Society of Clinical Oncology, (“Ex Vivo Analysis of Programmed Cell Death in Fibrolamellar Carcinoma: Olutolani-grace Ajayi, et al Proc ASCO Abstract 424, Chicago, Ill June 2023)

Investigators from Chicago’s Rush University in collaboration with scientists from across the US report results from a study that applied The Ex Vivo Analysis of Programmed Cell Death (EVA/PCD) to select treatment for young patients with a rare form of liver cancer known as Fibrolamellar Carcinoma.

Tumor tissues removed from each patient’s cancer at the time of surgery, were transported overnight to scientists at the Nagourney Cancer Institute to measure the effect of drugs and combinations and select the most active form of therapy for each individual. The best treatment was then administered with 72% of patients showing benefit from the selected combination. Among the most active combinations were those that combined the drug Lenvatinib, a new form of targeted agent with chemotherapy drugs.

“This represents the first successful application of a drug response platform for the selection active drugs in this group of young patients afflicted with Fibrolamellar cancer, a rare and often lethal from of liver cancer” said Dr Nagourney whose laboratory in Southern California conducted the EVA/PCD drug response testing.

Starting with the surgical removal of the cancer at participating institutions that specialize in this form of cancer, sterile tumor was transported overnight to the laboratory for analysis with the drug response results provided one week later.

“We greatly appreciate the expertise and support that we have received from our surgical and pathology colleagues and the sponsorship provided by the Fibro Fighters, under Tom Stockwell, whose own son succumbed to this disease some years earlier” Nagourney continued.

The tireless efforts of the many dedicated physicians and scientists were needed to complete this project, under the tutelage of Dr Paul Kent medical director of Fibro fighters who spearheaded this collaborative effort the program will continue to offer this lifesaving technology

to patients in need.

Fibrolamellar Cancer represents only 1-5% of all liver cancers in the US occurring almost exclusively in patients under 40 years of age. Surgery is the preferred form of therapy, yet a large number of patients recur making new approaches for systemic treatment an essential goal.

Fibro fighters is a not-for-profit foundation located in Temecula California, founded by Tom Stockwell, who lost his own 20-year-old son, Robert, to Fibrolamellar cancer after a 3.5 year battle. The foundation provides support, education and sponsorship in the pursuit of new therapies for this disease.

Nagourney Cancer Institute is a CLIA licensed laboratory located in Long Beach California that conducts EVA/PCD drug response profiling for patients with cancers that specializes in new forms treatments for patients with advanced and drug resistant cancers and uses human tumor tissue for cancer drug development.

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