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Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), which is the initial target of Jennerex's lead product candidate, JX-594, is the fifth most common cancer worldwide and the third leading cause of cancer death, with over 600,000 new cases diagnosed annually resulting in more than 90 percent mortality¹. The U.S. has witnessed a three-fold increase in the incidence of HCC over the past decade, and 20,000 new cases are now diagnosed with approximately 18,700 deaths annually².
HCC occurs more often in men than women. It is usually seen in people ages 50 – 60 years of age. The disease is more common in parts of Africa and Asia than in North or South America and Europe. HCC is not the same as metastatic liver cancer, which starts in another organ (such as the breast or colon) and spreads to the liver.
Patients with hepatitis B or C are at risk for liver cancer, even if they do not have cirrhosis.
Treatment: Aggressive surgery or a liver transplant can successfully treat small or slow-growing tumors if they are diagnosed early. However, many patients are not diagnosed early. Chemotherapy and radiation treatments are often not effective. However, they may be used to shrink large tumors so that surgery has a greater chance of success. Sorafenib (Nexavar®), an oral medicine that blocks tumor growth, is now approved for patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma.
Source: MedlinePlus & American Cancer Society
¹Ferlay J, et al., GLOBOCAN 2002. Cancer Incidence, Mortality and Prevalence Worldwide. IARC CancerBase No.5, Version 2.0. IARCPress, Lyon, 2004.
²American cancer society, 2009