Clinical Research Trials on Liver Cancer

The physicians and health care team at the UPMC Liver Cancer Center are engaged in clinical research trials to determine the latest state-of-the-art treatment for liver tumors.

For more information about clinical research at the UPMC Liver Cancer Center, please contact us.

Active Clinical Research Protocols

Study Title

Light Therapy in Patients Undergoing Hepatectomy


To determine if Blue Light Therapy improves patient outcomes following major liver resection.

Principal Investigator

Allan Tsung, MD, FACS

Study Title

Palliative Care Intervention for Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Advanced Cancer Patients


To test the efficacy of a collaborative care intervention to reduce symptoms of pain, depression, and fatigue in patients diagnosed with cancer. The study will also assess the predictors of caregiving on cardiovascular risk.

Principal Investigator

Jennifer Steel, PhD

Study Title

Caregiver-guided Pain Management Training in Pallatative Care


To test the efficacy of a caregiver guided pain management intervention to reduce pain in advanced cancer patients and improve adjustment in caregivers.

Principal Investigator

Jennifer Steel, PhD​

Study Title

Investigation of Serum and Tissue Markers as Predictors for Survival and Response to Therapy and Development of Biomarkers for Liver and Biliary Disease


To facilitate research involving hepatobiliary diseases and promote multidisciplinary collaborative research projects. Learn more about this study.

Principal Investigator

Allan Tsung, MD, FACS​

Upcoming Clinical Research Protocols

Study Title​

Clinical Translation of Augmented Reality Visualization for Laparoscopic Surgery


To test the technical feasibility of multimodality image fusion and visualization for guiding laparoscopic liver surgery.

Study Title

A Phase 1b/2, Multicenter, Open-label Trial to Evaluate the Safety of Talimogene Laherparepvec Injected into Liver Tumors Alone and in Combination with Systemic Pembrolizumab


To evaluate the safety and efficacy of talimogene laherparepvec, injected intrahepatically, into tumors with known progression alone and in combination with systemic IV administration of pembrolizumab in subjects with HCC.

Clinical Research Interests

  • Gene therapy trials for primary and metastatic liver cancer
  • Augmented liver reality imaging to enhance laparoscopic liver surgery and ablation
  • Human hepatocyte isolation to study I/R injury and cancer signaling pathways
  • CyberKnife® treatment and follow-up for primary or metastatic liver tumors
  • A Phase II study of yttrium-90 microspheres (SIR-Spheres®) therapy for the treatment of unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)
  • Regional therapy with transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) vs. SIR-Spheres® for liver metastases secondary to neuroendocrine tumors
  • Cold vs. warm ischemia and other factors that influence cell viability, morphology, and function in hepatocytes

Recent Clinical Research Protocols

  • NSABP PROTOCOL C-11: A Phase III, multicenter, randomized trial that will evaluate the difference in recurrence-free survival between patients with resectable hepatic colorectal metastases receiving perioperative (preoperative plus postoperative) chemotherapy and those receiving only postoperative chemotherapy following hepatic surgery to resect colorectal metastases.
  • BTG (STOP-HCC) Trial: To evaluate TheraSphere® in the treatment of patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma in whom treatment with standard-of-care sorafenib therapy is planned.
  • NSABP PROTOCOL FC-6: A Phase II Study to Determine the Surgical Conversion Rate in Patients Receiving Neoadjuvant mFOLFOX7 Plus Cetuximab for Unresectable Wild-Type K-RAS Colorectal Cancer with Metastases Confined to the Liver
  • LC® Drug Eluting Bead for Regional Chemoembolization to Downstage or Bridge Unresectable Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) to Liver Transplantation
  • Phase I/II Trial Testing Immunization with AFP Plus GM-CSF Plasmid and AFP Adenoviral Vector Boost in Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC)
  • Computer-Mediated Strategies for Symptom Management
  • Analysis of the Cytokine-Immunological Model of Cancer

For more information about active clinical research, interests, or protocols at the UPMC Liver Cancer Center, please contact us.​​​​​​​​

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