Chronic liver disease morbidity and mortality is increasing alarmingly, due in large part to the growing epidemic of obesity which is associated with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. By 2030 over 8 million Australians will be affected by chronic liver disease of various aetiologies. Untreated, chronic liver disease can progress to cirrhosis through liver scarring, or fibrosis. Cirrhosis represents permanent scarring of the liver. Cirrhosis is the common endpoint of all chronic liver disease. Cirrhosis is associated with life-threatening complicationssuch as liver cancer (also known as hepatocellular carcinoma or HCC). Liver cancer is the 2nd largest cause of cancer death world-wide and now affects more people than ever before. Only 15% of people with HCC survive 5 years or more, however, early diagnosis of HCC is treatable (5-year survival is up to 90%). The key is early diagnosis but current blood tests are only positive in 50% of HCCs. A better diagnostic blood test is desperately needed for the early detection of HCC. This project investigates the potential role of serum microRNAs to detect early HCC diagnosis and examines the mechanistic role microRNAs play in the development and metastasis of HCC in chronic liver disease.
Professor Grant Ramm | email@example.com