Hepatocellular carcinoma

New modalities for diagnosis and treatment of primary liver neoplasms and improvement of their prognostic models

Research topics

Our research group aims at developing novel imaging modalities to diagnose primary liver cancer, improve its prognostic evaluation, and identify innovative surgical, percutaneous, transarterial, and pharmacological treatments. Regarding the latter aspect, this group partecipated in different clinical trials, ultimately leading to many publications in high-quality journals. These publications include the results of the registrative trials of sorafenib, lenvatinib, regorafenib, and cabozantinib.

We are an international leading group contibuting to the creation of different national and international guidelines regarding liver cancer. Our group is also devoted to basic research aimed at the identification of the biological mechanisms involved in different stages of hepatocarcinogenesis, with particular reference to microRNAs and NOTCH genes (whose role in liver cancer was demonstrated by our group firstly, leading to a patent registration).

Finally, we are also interested in clinical applications of new ultrasound technologies. Our group promoted and coordinated the development of different international guidelines regarding this topic and is recognised as an international authority in the field of liver ultrasounds.

The Center has been awarded research grants in the field of hepatocellular carcinoma by the European Union (FP7 program) and the american NIH in addition to national funding agencies.

Research Project

Up-to-date scientific aims:

  • Development of novel imaging techniques to diagnose primary liver cancer.
  • Identification of clinical, laboratory, and imaging biomarkers to predict the response to liver cancer treatments and patients’ prognosis.
  • Identification of innovative surgical, percutaneous, transarterial, and pharmacological treatments for primary liver cancer.




Non University Collaborators

  • Dr. Laura Gramantieri

  • Dr. Eleonora Terzi

  • Dr. Simona Leoni

  • Dr. Sara Marinelli


International Collaborations:

  • Radiology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelfia (contatto dr. A. Lyshcik).
  • Gastroenterology, Iuliu Hațieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Cluj-Napoca, Romania (contatto dr. H Stefanescu);
  • Of Oncology, Imperial College, London, UK (contatto Dr. D. Pinato).

List of publications on this topic can be found in PubMed (link)