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postheadericon Clinical Background

Acute Liver Failure (ALF)

LIVER

As of now ALF has no molecular markers, which would allow the prediction of necessity and point of time for a liver transplantation. On the one side such markers could prevent transplantations, which in retrospect would have been unnecessary. This would lead to significant cost savings. On the other side, patients for whom the need of a transplantation could be determined in an early stage, could be admitted to specialized hospitals before the optimal time for an operation has passed. Furthermore, there momentarily exists no medicinal approach, which is capable of reliably stopping the development of ALF.

Chronic Hepatitis B

Nukleoside and nucleotide analogs such as Interferon-a (IFN-a) are standard therapy forms for Hepatitis B. These therapies however have led to a loss of the virus only by few patients. They have also been complicated by the development of resistances. It is not known which host functions determine the clinical course.

Chronic Hepatitis C

Less than half of all patients react to the therapy with IFN-a and Ribavirin, which have many side effects. Hence a reliable prediction of reaction and non-reaction could spare many patients this treatment and would equally lead to a significant cost saving. Contrary to HBV, it has been shown for HBC that host factors such as ISG15 play an important role for the replication of the virus. It remains unclear, whether other factors next to ISG15 are of importance.

Fatty Liver Disease

Abdomen

So far Fatty Liver Disease (FLD) can be diagnosed reliably only with a liver biopsy. A non-invasive marker, which would make puncture of the liver unnecessary, could become a decisive advancement. It also remains unclear, which patients develop progressive liver diseases, so that according prognostic markers would allow for a better clinical management of risk patients.

Liver Cirrhosis

For liver cirrhosis as well there are no realiable non-invasive markers yet. Especially for these cases in their early stages, in which a progression of the disease can be prevented by applying appropriate therapeutical means, punture of the liver is indispensable.

Hepatocellular Carcinoma

The HCC is a biologically and prognostically heterogeneous malignancy. There is a lack of markers here, which allow for an early diagnosis, which is essential for the prognosis of the disease, since a cure is only possible in a rather early stage of the disease. There also is lack of prognostic markers, with which one could predict the success of available surgical, interventional and medicinal therapeutical approaches. Furthermore the medicinal approaches have remained unsatisfactory despite some advancements, making the identification of new target structures necessary.

Cholangiocellular Carcinoma

CCC has a very bad prognosis as well. In an early stage, surgical cure can be achieved. The available palliative approaches are unsatisfactory. We lack markers here as well, which would enable an early diagnosis as well as the prediction of the clinical course of the disease. Just like for HCC the availabe medicinal therapies are not very efficient here either.