New Model for Predicting Tumor Recurrence Could Benefit Liver Transplant Patients


A simple blood test may better predict which patients diagnosed with liver cancer will experience disease reoccurrence, according to new research from Weill Cornell Medicine scientists. The findings may help physicians determine who would benefit most from liver transplantation.

Dr. Robert Brown
Depending on disease severity, oncologists may recommend liver transplantation for patients whose tumors have not yet metastasized. Physicians have traditionally used a special set of criteria, based on the size and number of tumors, to assess patients’ risk of cancer reoccurrence if they receive a new organ — the findings from which ultimately determine if transplantation is the appropriate treatment.

In their study, published Sept. 16 in the Annals of Surgery, Weill Cornell Medicine investigators demonstrate that measuring the concentration of molecules in the blood that increase in the presence of liver cancer can more effectively discern which patients will experience disease relapse than the current model. The scientists say the new criteria, known as the Model of Recurrence After Liver Transplant — or MORAL score — can help ensure that those who are selected for liver transplants have the best chance of staying cancer-free after surgery. Continue reading