CanLiv Foundation’s Annual Symposium to Focus on Genomics-driven Therapies for Hepatobiliary Cancers

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One-day symposium will bring together leading researchers, doctors and advocates to tackle thorny issues involving "orphan" cancers of liver, gallbladder and bile ducts. April 5 symposium to be live streamed.

Genomics will be at the forefront of the 3rd annual CanLiv Research Symposium, a free event sponsored by the CanLiv Foundation. CanLiv is a nonprofit committed to advancing knowledge, education, research and treatments of rare hepatobiliary cancer (cancers of the bile ducts, gallbladder and liver). Oncology researchers, doctors, patient advocates, foundation experts and others are invited to attend the Friday, April 5 event at ASAE Center for Association Leadership in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Daniel Heller, former Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Clinical Oncology and Emeritus Professor of Medicine at Abramson Cancer Center, will moderate the Symposium.

Sessions for 2013 include:

  •     Update on CanLiv Accomplishments by Lewis Roberts, MB, ChB, PhD; Mayo Clinic
  •     Hepatobiliary Cancers – What is the Unmet Global Need?
  •     The Clinical Landscape by Melanie Thomas, MD MS; Hollings Cancer Center, Medical University of South Carolina
  •     The Scientific Need: How Well are These Tumors Characterized to Inform New Drug Development?
  •     Bile Duct and Gallbladder Cancer by Greg Gores, MD; Mayo Clinic
  •     Hepatocellular Carcinoma by Jack Wands, MD; Brown University Medical School
  •     Lessons from Project Achilles: How to Tackle Functional Characterization of Hepatobiliary Cancers William Hahn, MD, PhD; Harvard Medical School/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  •     Expression Versus Activity: Interpreting Tumor Profiling Data by Ramesh Ramanathan, MD; University of Arizona/TGen
  •     Understanding Genomic Sequencing: What Makes a Target “Druggable”? by Peter Smith, PhD; H3 Biomedicine Inc./TransPoc
  •     Tissue is the Issue: Overview of Models for Drug Discovery in Hepatobiliary Cancers by Lewis Roberts, MB, ChB, PhD; Mayo Clinic
  •     Putting Patients at the Center of Patient-Based Drug Discovery: Who, What, How?
  •     The Big “C” Catalyzing Collaborative Consortia: Can They Work?
  •     The Way Forward: Putting Ideas into an Action Plan by Daniel Haller, M.D. and Lewis Roberts, MS, ChB, PhD; Mayo Clinic

Additionally, there will be two moderated roundtable discussions:

  •     What are the Best Tools to Characterize Hepatobiliary Cancers? Genomics-Driven Clinical Trials in Hepatobiliary Cancers: Dream or Reality? Features Jack Wands, MD; Xin Chen, PhD; Greg Gores, MD; Daniel VT Catenacci, MD; Kaoru Kiguchi, MD, PhD
  •     Define Major Knowledge Gaps, Priorities for Future Research featuring William Hahn, MD, PhD; Ramesh Ramanathan, MD; Lewis Roberts, MB, ChB, PhD; Peter Smith, PhD

Participation in the CanLiv Research Symposium is free. Donations are encouraged. Anyone who cannot attend may view the conference via live streaming on Friday, April 5 from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at

“CanLiv has grown tremendously since the last symposium,” said Dr. Melanie Thomas, President of CanLiv and Associate Director of Clinical Investigations at Hollings Cancer Center, Medical University of South Carolina. “The formation of the CanLiv International Hepatobiliary Cancer Research Consortium will be detailed at this year’s event. We hope to continue to expand the Consortium’s reach to enhance collaboration around the globe”

Cancers of the bile duct, gallbladder and liver are often referred to as “orphan” tumors because they have few effective treatment options, there is little public awareness, and very little research funding. Hepatobiliary cancers are relatively uncommon in developed countries, but are major public health problems in much of Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and parts of South America. CanLiv addresses this gap between current and predicted patient needs and available nonsurgical treatment options.

About CanLiv:
The CanLiv Foundation was created by a group of cancer researchers on several continents who were all struck by the absence of knowledge and shared insights related to hepatobiliary cancers (liver, gallbladder and bile ducts). Since 2007, the organization has formalized a program of research and information sharing, created a patient-focused website and online community with educational materials and more, and brought attention to cancers that affect millions of patients worldwide.


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Colleen Troy
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