Liver Cancer Care

The liver cancer experts at UC San Diego Health are fighting primary malignancies and metastases in new and aggressive ways. Our multidisciplinary team is committed to providing the highest level of care and includes specialists from hepatology, surgical oncology, medical oncology, radiation oncology and interventional radiology.

Cancers and benign tumors are accurately identified, staged and monitored by our advanced endoscopy unit and diagnostics team in gastroenterology.

What is Liver Cancer?

How Do You Get Liver Cancer?

Liver Cancer Areas of Expertise

Our Team

Liver Cancer Group (LCG) is a weekly multi-disciplinary liver cancer tumor board, led by Yuko Kono, MD, a hepatologist who specialize in caring for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The group includes experts in hepatology, surgery, diagnostic radiology, interventional radiology, radiation oncology, medical oncology, and pathology.

Diagnosis and Imaging

UC San Diego Health is home to a unique liver imaging group that includes radiologists, physicists, computer scientists, and biostatisticians. The group has developed sophisticated non-invasive techniques to diagnose pre-cancerous liver conditions and small tumors that were previously not detectable. These techniques — which include double-contrast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) — can also be used to gather important information about a tumor, including its exact size, density, and how well it may respond to treatment.

Surgical Treatment

Hepatobiliary surgery is led by a team of surgeons with experience in complex surgeries of the liver, pancreas and bile ducts, including:

  • Liver resection -- Liver resection is the surgical removal of tumors or diseased areas of the liver. At UC San Diego Health, surgeons perform liver resection using minimally invasive approaches.
  • Bile duct resection
  • Liver transplantation -- Our transplant team provides comprehensive, leading-edge care for even the most complex, high-risk cases.

Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy

Specialists perform radiotherapy and administer advanced chemotherapies, including:

  • Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) -- SBRT is a special form of external beam radiation that delivers doses of radiation using beams precisely matched to the three dimensional shape of the tumor.
  • Transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) and drug-eluting beads (DEB) -- Transarterial chemoembolization is a targeted form of chemotherapy delivered locally (sometimes through small beads) to destroy a tumor. TACE helps block blood supply to a tumor.
  • Transarterial radioembolization (TARE) -- Transarterial radiotherapy is the use of radioactive isotopes (Yttrium 90) delivered selectively to the tumor through the hepatic artery.
  • Chemotherapy and targeted therapy for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) -- Chemotherapy uses chemical agents to treat the disease.