Australia has a pathway to improved liver cancer outcomes, following the release last week of the country’s first ever national Roadmap to Liver Cancer Control and NHMRC-endorsed Clinical Guidelines for Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) surveillance for people at high risk in Australia, led by researchers at the Daffodil Centre.
Liver cancer is the only cancer in Australia for which age-standardised mortality rates have increased, with Daffodil Centre research published last year showing rates will continue to rise by around 21% between 2020 and 2044 – if nothing changes.
The Roadmap, funded by the Australian Department of Health and Aged Care through a grant to Cancer Council Australia, with the technical and stakeholder engagement work led by the Daffodil Centre, maps the priority actions to improve liver cancer outcomes in Australia.
The Roadmap to Liver Cancer Control and Clinical Guidelines for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) surveillance for people at high risk in Australia, launched today by Cancer Council Australia, have been guided by research conducted by Daffodil Centre’s Gastrointestinal Cancers Policy and Evaluation and Research Methods streams.
The technical work, led by Associate Professor Eleonora Feletto, systematic reviews, extensive stakeholder engagement and the development of a liver-specific predictive modelling to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of HCC surveillance.
Speaking at the launch, Associate Professor Feletto said:
“The Roadmap and guidelines are critical in working towards improving liver cancer outcomes as there has been less funding and research into liver cancer control compared to many other cancers. In the development phase, we reviewed existing data, screening and surveillance programs, and mapped out the current clinical service delivery for early detecting early liver cancer. This helped in development of the Roadmap towards reducing the liver cancer burden in Australia. With the release of the Roadmap and guidelines, we also hope to see additional research and funding into liver cancer, with an additional focus on identifying advanced liver disease and cirrhosis.”
The Roadmap contains 26 priority actions for clinicians, researchers and policy makers to guide national action across improving liver cancer outcomes. The Roadmap also outlines priorities over the next 2, 5 and 10 years to reduce the disease burden and improve outcomes and survival rates for all Australians affected by liver cancer.
To accompany the Roadmap, Cancer Council Australia released the NHRMC-endorsed Clinical practice guidelines for hepatocellular carcinoma surveillance for people at high risk in Australia 2023 to provide information and recommendations to guide HCC surveillance which can be successful in detecting lesions and/or early-stage tumours, increasing the receipt of curative treatment and improving overall survival, underpinned by systematic reviews and liver-specific predictive modelling.
The Roadmap and complete Guidelines will be available on the Cancer Council Australia website soon.