Researchers have found a gene they say can help identify patients facing aggressive liver cancer, and may prove key to their future treatment. This is good news in a field "that has not had big advances before this and has not been the beneficiary of genomic medicine," said Dr. Richard Goldberg
, a professor of medicine at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center. The new laboratory study focused on hepatocellular carcinoma, a type of cancer that originates in the liver, particularly in people who have sustained liver damage from diseases such as hepatitis or cirrhosis, said Goldberg, who was not involved in the research. The findings open the possibility of targeted drugs that would outperform the standard drug treatment in use now, he said.