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Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center

UT Southwestern Medical Center’s hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) team is the most experienced in North Texas, offering expert treatment for patients throughout the area. 

As the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in North Texas, we deliver the best cancer care available today and push to discover new treatments. NCI designation means we offer patients the ability to participate in the broadest possible range of clinical trials, with access to potential therapies not available at other facilities.

Comprehensive Care for HCC (Liver Cancer)

Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common type of primary liver cancer

At UT Southwestern, we offer something unique for patients with HCC – a single clinic in which all of our HCC specialists are available. Patients have access to whichever specialists they need, right when they need them – whether it’s a transplant hepatologist; a surgical, radiation, or medical oncologist; an interventional radiologist; or another provider – without shuffling from building to building or waiting for multiple appointments.

According to a recent study led by UT Southwestern physicians, multidisciplinary care improves treatment delivery and survival in patients with HCC . But multidisciplinary clinics are rare among liver cancer programs, which truly sets UT Southwestern apart.

Causes and Symptoms of Hepatocellular Carcinoma

HCC is commonly associated with chronic liver diseases, such as cirrhosis and hepatitis.

While some patients might not have symptoms, others might experience:

  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal pain
  • Jaundice
  • Fatigue
  • Fluid in the abdomen

Screening and Diagnosis

When HCC is caught early, it can be more easily treated and often cured. Screening in high-risk patients has been proven to catch HCC early and increase survival rates.

In patients who have a condition that puts them at high risk for HCC, such as cirrhosis of the liver or chronic hepatitis B or C, UT Southwestern’s HCC team can develop a regular screening program that helps us identify any developing cancer as early as possible while it’s still curable.

According to published findings by UT Southwestern's Amit Singal, M.D., liver cancer survival rates could be significantly reduced if more people with cirrhosis were screened for HCC using readily available, inexpensive, and noninvasive abdominal ultrasound scans and blood tests.

To diagnose HCC, we might perform:

Treatment for HCC (Liver Cancer)

At a top cancer center like UT Southwestern, patients have options when it comes to the treatment of HCC. These options include:

  • Liver transplant
  • Surgery to remove the tumor, including minimally invasive surgery
  • Local ablative therapies
  • Therapies that deliver chemotherapy or radiation directly to the cancer cells
  • Stereotactic radiation therapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • A combination of these therapies

Every patient and every situation is unique, so we work closely together and with each patient to determine the best treatment strategy for each situation.

Learn more about treatments for liver cancer.

Research and Clinical Trials

UT Southwestern is a leader in liver cancer research projects, such as studying optimal methods for early diagnosis, evaluating how liver cancer develops and how it can be prevented, and evaluating novel therapies for patients with liver cancer. We offer clinical trials for patients with intermediate and advanced liver cancer.

Among many promising trials exploring liver cancer treatment, current trials focus on:

  • Neoadjuvant therapy with transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE)
  • Immunotherapy treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma

Support

We also offer a range of support services to help patients and families through their journey with HCC. These include:

  • Cancer psychology
  • Support groups and classes
  • Oncology nutrition
  • Spiritual support
  • Oncology rehabilitation
  • EMBRACE Survivorship
  • Oncology social work
  • Transitional care coordination
  • Integrative therapies

Related Conditions and Treatments

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Find a Clinical Trial

We have a wide range of clinical trials open to patients with all stages of cancer. Search for opportunities to participate in a cancer study.

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