News & Events

Published On: 12/21/2020

TARGET-HCC Initial Manuscript Published in Hepatology Communications

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide and is projected to exceed more than one million deaths per year by 2030.[i]  Most cases of HCC occur alongside of chronic liver diseases like chronic hepatitis B, hepatitis C, alcohol-related liver disease, or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).[ii],[iii]  HCC is one of the only cancers with both incidence and deaths on the rise, largely due to high numbers of people with advanced chronic hepatitis C infection and a rising number of people with NAFLD.[iv],[v],[vi] 

Diagnosing HCC early has a major impact on survival rates: while early stage diagnosis can lead to 5-year survival rates over 60%, the median survival rate for intermediate to late-stage cancer is only 1-2 years. Several new treatments for HCC have recently been approved, and while this provides hope for people diagnosed with HCC, researchers are still challenged with gaining access to comprehensive datasets to better understand these treatments, their effectiveness in the real-world and long-term safety. Aiming to bridge this gap in research, Target RWE recently published the design and characteristics of patients enrolled in its ongoing longitudinal HCC study, TARGET-HCC, in Hepatology Communications (doi:10.1002/hep4.1652).

Launched in 2016, the TARGET-HCC study was created to collect real-world patient data to better understand the clinical characteristics, patterns, outcomes and management of patients with HCC in the real-world, as well as determine the safety and effectiveness of the entire spectrum of current, and even future, therapies across this complex patient population. Led by a steering committee of leading hepatology experts from the U.S. and Europe, more than 1,800 patients with HCC have been enrolled in TARGET-HCC across 67 sites from the U.S. and Europe who will be followed over a 5-year period during their clinical management.

“The real-world nature of TARGET-HCC highlights how treatment patterns in clinical practice can also vary from guideline recommendations,” said Adrian Di Bisceglie, MD, Co-Chair of the TARGET-HCC Steering Committee, Chief of Hepatology and University Liver Center Co-Director, St. Louis, MO. “Decisions and outcomes made in real-world conditions are likely to be more widely applicable to clinical practice than those from restrictive interventional studies.” 


[i] Bray F, Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, et al. Global cancer statistics 2018: GLOBOCAN estimates of incidence and mortality worldwide for 36 cancers in 185 countries. CA Cancer J Clin 2018;68:394-424.

[ii] Villanueva A. Hepatocellular Carcinoma. N Engl J Med 2019;380:1450-1462.

[iii] Jemal A, Ward EM, Johnson CJ, et al. Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, 1975-2014, Featuring Survival. J Natl Cancer Inst 2017;109.

[iv] Lok AS, Seeff LB, Morgan TR, et al. Incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma and associated risk factors in hepatitis C-related advanced liver disease. Gastroenterology 2009;136:138-48.

[v] Younossi Z, Stepanova M, Ong JP, et al. Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Is the Fastest Growing Cause of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Liver Transplant Candidates. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2019;17:748-755 e3.

[vi] Yang JD, Hainaut P, Gores GJ, et al. A global view of hepatocellular carcinoma: trends, risk, prevention and management. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol 2019;16:589-604.

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