Hepato Pancreatic Biliary (HPB) cancer research

Hepato pancreatic biliary cancers include cancer of the pancreas, liver and biliary system.

Pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer is cancer that starts in the pancreas. The pancreas is a gland that produces digestive juices and hormones. Around 9,600 people in the UK get pancreatic cancer each year. It is the 11th most common cancer. Pancreatic cancer is more common in older people. Almost half of all new cases are diagnosed in people aged 75 and over. Pancreatic cancer is uncommon in people under 40 years old.

Treatment is different depending on what type of pancreatic cancer you have. Resectable cancer is where the tumour is involving the pancreas and surrounding structures but is not affecting the nearby major blood vessels. This type of cancer can be removed by surgery along with an area of tissue from around the tumour. This could then be followed by chemotherapy.

Unresectable pancreatic cancer means the cancer is locally advanced or has spread elsewhere in the body so cannot be completely removed by surgery. Chemotherapy is the main treatment for this type of cancer.

For more information about pancreatic cancer and research visit https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/panc...

Liver cancer

Primary liver cancer starts in the liver. Around 5,700 people are diagnosed with liver cancer each year in the UK. That’s around 16 new cases every day.

It is more common in men than in women. The risk of developing liver cancer gets higher as we get older.

The type of liver cancer you have depends on where it starts and the type of cell it starts in. The different types of primary liver cancer are:

  • hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), this is the most common type of liver cancer
  • fibrolamellar cancer, a rare type of HCC
  • intra hepatic cholangiocarcinoma, which starts in the section of bile ducts inside the liver
  • angiosarcoma (or haemangiosarcoma), which starts in the blood vessels of the liver and is extremely rare
  • hepatoblastoma, is a rare childhood cancer

At CCC we have research studies investigating treatments for hepatocellular carcinoma. This is the most common type of primary liver cancer. Because of this, the information in the primary liver cancer section is mostly about hepatocellular cancers.

This type of liver cancer develops from the main liver cells called hepatocytes. It's more common in people who have a damaged liver from cirrhosis. Cirrhosis means scarring of the liver due to previous damage, such as from the hepatitis B or C virus or long term alcohol drinking.

Hepatocellular carcinoma is more likely to develop in men than in women and becomes more common as you get older.

The main treatments for liver cancer are:

  • surgery to remove the cancer (resection)
  • liver transplant
  • biological therapy
  • chemotherapy
  • chemotherapy directly into the liver (chemoembolisation)
  • radiofrequency ablation (RFA)
  • radiotherapy

To find out more about liver cancer and research visit https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/live...

Bile duct cancer

Cancer of the bile duct is a rare cancer. It is also called cholangiocarcinoma. It develops when abnormal cells grow in an uncontrolled way. Bile ducts are small tubes that connect the liver and gallbladder to the small bowel. The bile ducts carry fluid called bile which helps break down fats in food.

Doctors divide bile duct cancers into 3 groups depending on where they develop:

  • intrahepatic region – this means within the liver and includes the right and left hepatic ducts and their smaller branches
  • perihilar (hilar) region – this is just outside the liver where the right and left hepatic ducts meet
  • distal region – this includes the bile ducts that run through the pancreas to the small bowelCancers that start in the bile ducts outside the liver are called extrahepatic bile duct cancers. In the UK around 1,900 people are diagnosed each year with intrahepatic bile duct cancer. Around 530 people are diagnosed with extrahepatic bile duct cancer.At CCC we are currently running clinical trials for cholangiocarcinoma

To find out more about bile duct cancer visit https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/bile...