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Digital Liver Cancer Summit 2021 scientific programme

The scientific programme of the two-day Digital Liver Cancer Summit 2021 will provide delegates with a digital experience dedicated entirely to primary liver cancers. International experts will deliver up-to-date talks on basic, translational, and clinical data on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), cholangiocarcinoma (CCA), and rare primary liver cancers.

The format combines educational lectures and lively debates. Furthermore, it will give delegates an interactive experience: an open platform, blended with time dedicated to discussing questions with experts in the field.

Key learning objectives:

  • Understanding the plasticity of the genomics of liver cancer
  • Understanding ex-vivo modelling for liver cancers
  • Outlining the role of the microenvironment in cholangiocarcinoma
  • Getting updated on molecular pathogenesis and the clinical care of rare primary liver cancers
  • Exploring HCC epidemiology and screening: NASH, alcohol, and the viral control and role of biomarkers
  • Discussing early diagnosis in HCC: under- and over-diagnosis and under- and over-staging?
  • Debating hot topics in surgery and transplantation when treating primary liver cancers
  • Defining challenges and opportunities in the locoregional treatment of HCC
  • Discussing systemic treatment in HCC and cholangiocarcinoma

Discover the scientific programme

Access the online scientific programme
08:50–09:00 Welcome and Introduction

Chairs: Chiara Braconi (UK), Jordi Bruix (Spain), Jean Charles Nault (France)


Plasticity of genomics of liver cancer: impact in clinical practice?

Chairs: Chiara Braconi (UK), Jean Charles Nault (France)

Main topics to be discussed:

  • Can we select first-line treatment, on the basis of the genomics of cancers resected years ago?
  • Is biopsy reliable in large/multifocal disease?
  • How does heterogeneity affect the success of treatment?
  • Is telomerase a good target in HCC? What are the relevant preclinical data?
  • What are the implications of heterogeneity and the mutational burden in the development of cancer vaccines?
  • B-catenin and resistance to immunotherapy
10:00–10:15 Break

Blast oral communications: basic and translational research

Chair: Jesús Bañales (Spain)

Selection of oral communications: 2 oral presentations of 4 minutes of presentation including 3 minutes of questions.

10:30–10:45 Break

Role of the microenvironment in cholangiocarcinoma

Chairs: Chiara Raggi (Italy), Jesper Andersen (Denmark)

Main topics to be discussed:

  • Does underlying sclerosing cholangitis affect the molecular profile?
  • What is the role of the microenvironment in tumour progression and its resistance to treatment?
  • What is the best target for novel treatments: cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAF); immune cells, beyond T cells?
  • Combinations to improve the effects of immuno-oncology (IO)
11:45–12:00 Break

Rare primary liver cancers

Chairs: Jessica Zucman-Rossi (France), Ansgar Lohse (Germany)

Main topics to be discussed:

  • Fibrolamellar carcinoma, hepatic adenoma, hepatic haemangioendothelioma, hepatic angiosarcoma, mixed tumours (hepato-cholangiocarcinoma), cystadenoma and cystadenocarcinoma, angiomyolipoma
  • What are the molecular drivers of these tumours?
  • When should we be considering rare primary liver cancers? How should we reach a diagnosis?
  • What is the optimal treatment? Surgery, locoregional, or systemic treatment, or no treatment at all?
  • How can we improve our knowledge of these diseases?
  • What is the role of the European Reference Network (ERN) international consortium?
  • What role can advocacy groups play in promoting research on rare primary liver cancer and in improving clinical care?

Lunchtime and Industry Symposium (13:05-14:05)


HCC epidemiology and screening: impact of NASH, alcohol and virological control and role of biomarkers

Chairs: Massimo Colombo (Italy), Nathalie Ganne-Carrié (France)

Main topics to be discussed:

  • Epidemiology in NASH, alcohol, or HCV cirrhosis
  • The impact of virological control (of HBV and HCV) in the incidence of HCC
  • How can we stratify risk? How can population stratification be used for screening?
  • What do we need to use for screening: ultrasound, rapid MRI, or biomarkers?
  • Are there patients with cirrhosis that may not require screening?
  • Should F3 patients be screened? Why or why not?
  • What barriers to screening exist?
  • Do we need to screen for alcoholic-related cirrhosis?
  • Geographical differences: what differences exist worldwide in screening strategies?
15:15–15:30 Break

Early diagnosis in HCC: under- and over-diagnosis and under- and over- staging?

Chairs: Jordi Bruix (Spain), Victoria Chernyak (US)

Main topics to be discussed:

  • Liver Imaging Reporting and Data System (LIRADS) criteria in HCC diagnosis: its usefulness and limits
  • The role of artificial intelligence or deep learning for the early diagnosis of HCC
  • The overdiagnosis and overtreatment of HCC: the impact of competing risks of death
  • What should we do with very small nodules (<1 cm)?
  • What is the role of liver biopsy? Do we need more; and for what purpose?
16:30–16:45 Break

Hot topics in primary liver cancer surgery/transplantation: what is feasible or worth doing?

Chairs: Christophe Duvoux (France), Julie Heimbach (US)

Main topics to be discussed:

  • Resection in patients with multifocal tumours or portal hypertension?
  • Prevention of recurrence and trial design in this context: Is recurrence a surrogate of overall survival (OS)?
  • What is the current status of expansion for liver tumours?
  • What is the status of liver transplantation for non-HCC liver cancer?
  • Does any molecular profiling predict poor results; do any biomarkers?
  • Do priorities and population heterogeneity mandate a specific system for each area?
  • What is the role of machine perfusion? How can we improve liver regeneration?

Challenges and opportunities in locoregional treatment

Chair: Pierce Chow (Singapore), Roman Klöckner (Germany)

Main topics to be discussed:

  • Wil transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) survive if systemic therapy becomes more effective?
  • What is the role of combining TACE with systemic treatment?
  • How should we assess radiological response?
  • If TACE achieves partial response, is it a success or a failure; and should we commence systemic treatment?



Blast oral communication session: translational and clinical research

Chair: Pierre Nahon (France)

Selection of oral communications: 2 oral presentations of 4 minutes of presentation including 3 minutes of questions.




Systemic treatment in HCC: how to sequence?

Chairs: María Reig (Spain), Peter Galle (Germany)

Main topics to be discussed:

  • The registering of adverse events (AEs) in trials: is it currently adequate?
  • Issues of trial design and endpoints: response rates; and are time to progression (TTP) or progression-free survival (PFS) surrogates for overall survival?
  • Are basket trials adequate for HCC?
  • Is there a molecular profile linking to effective therapy? What hope do biopsies or liquid biopsies offer us?
  • What should we do if we have a partial/complete patient response to treatment?
  • The role of nurses in educating and supporting patients and their families

Lunchtime and Industry Symposium


Ex-vivo modelling for liver cancers

Chairs: Sumera Rizvi (US), Derek A Mann (UK)

Main topics to be discussed:

  • Value in modelling disease, and its correspondence with human primary liver cancer
  • Value as a predictive tool for precision oncology
  • How should we study the immune system and its response to immunotherapy?
  • Preclinical models and the prediction of adverse events
  • Pitfall of preclinical models



Blast oral communication: translational and clinical research

Chair: Augusto Villanueva (US)

Selection of oral communications: 4 oral presentations of 4 minutes of presentation including 3 minutes of questions.




Systemic treatment for advanced biliary cancer: where we are and where are we going?

Chairs: Angela Lamarca (UK), Alejandro Forner (Spain)

Main topics to be discussed:

  • Should we perform molecular profile in all patients? What is the most appropriate time for genomic profile?
  • What is the role of liquid biopsies?
  • What should we consider an appropriate degree of evidence to establish a recommendation in a rare cancer? Do phase II data need to be backed up by phase III trials?
  • Immunotherapy in CCA: Is there a role beyond MMR-deficient CCA?
  • Differentiating treatment according to staging: hepatic-only vs extrahepatic disease?
  • Does underlying sclerosing cholangitis have any impact on prognosis and treatment?

All times are in Central European Time (CET). The official language of the Summit is English.

What is the step-by-step of a one-hour session?

  • Each session will host 4–5 speakers (1–3 will present talks, and 2–3 others will serve as additional panellists, contributing to the discussion)
  • Each session will have 2 chairs: one leading the introduction, conclusion and conducting the debate; the other asking the questions arising from the digital audience and handling the timing
  • The sessions will start with 1-3 pre-recorded talks of 10 min each
  • Following the talks there will be a 30-40 min discussion with interactive questions from attendees
  • One of the chairs will provide a final take-home message

The scientific programme for the Digital Liver Cancer Summit 2021 will build upon the great success of the 2020 summit, held in Prague. Although the summit will be held digitally in 2021, it will exceed the expectations of the hepatology community.

See below some fantastic testimonials from the Liver Cancer Summit 2020. With your involvement and participation, we will create an even better event.

Together we are stronger against liver cancer. Download the promotional kit of the summit and share the news with your community!

User-friendly digital platform

The Digital Liver Cancer Summit 2021 will take place on the same amazing, easy-to-use and engaging platform that we used for the Digital ILC 2020. After the event, the delegates’ consensus was that “EASL has raised the bar” in terms of digital events for the liver community.

So get ready for another high-end event at Digital Liver Cancer Summit 2021!

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