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Early Cancer Institute

CRUK Programme Foundation Award

Dr Matt Hoare, Group Leader in the Early Cancer Institute and Honorary Consultant in Hepatology at Addenbrooke's Hospital, has been awarded a Cancer Research UK Programme Foundation Award of £1.5 million over 5 years to further his research into the link between chronic liver disease (CLD) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common type of primary liver cancer. 

HCC is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide, with a survival of just 20% after 5 years. 90% of cases develop in patients with chronic liver disease (CLD). The causes of CLD are changing, with rapidly rising obesity and type 2 diabetes driving non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The liver in patients with CLD is marked by a cancerisation field effect – every liver cell is damaged and can become a cancer – therefore these patients represent a clear at-risk population for HCC development.

The biological mechanism of this cancerisation field effect is unknown. The Programme Foundation Award will enable Dr Hoare and team to undertake research to gain better understanding of alterations that occur in our DNA (known as somatic mutations) and how these might contribute to the development of liver cancer.