Every year about 1.300 patients are newly diagnosed with a primary liver tumour in the Netherlands. Primary liver tumours are tumours that originate in the liver, including the biliary tree. These tumours include hepatocellular carcinoma, gallbladder cancer, intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma and perihilar cholangiocarcinoma. Distal cholangiocarcinoma is included in the Pancreatic cancer and pancreatitis Pearl
because of its periampullary location.
The Dutch Hepatocellular and Cholangiocarcinoma Group (DHCG) was established in 2014. The DHCG is a collaborative initiative from Dutch medical specialists to join forces in the fight against primary liver tumours. A working group within the DHCG was established in 2016 to set up a national primary liver tumour biobank and database. For this set up current biobanking processes in University Medical Centres are used as well as the structure from the Parelsnoer Institute (PSI).
The aim of this “Pearl” is to use scientific research to increase knowledge and to improve treatments for the patient group.
The following general goals are identified:
- The validation of available diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers.
- The search for new diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers.
- The development of diagnostic and prognostic models using these biomarkers, that are applicable in a clinical setting.
- The search for biomarkers and factors that are indicative for the success of local therapy (resection, ablation, transplantation) and systemic therapy (chemotherapy and antibodies).
- The search for specific targets for systemic therapies.
To successfully formalize and execute this Pearl there is a close collaboration between the Dutch University Medical Centres and the Dutch Liver Patients Association. The set up of this Pearl is mostly financed by the Dutch Cancer Society (DCS) and the Netherlands Association for the Study of the Liver (NASL).