Trending Clinical Topics for August 2018

Ryan Syrek


August 31, 2018

Trending Clinical Topic of the Week (July 28 – August 3): Liver Disease

An alarming trend and a treatment option for previously treated patients contributed to the increased popularity of this week’s top search term. News that young people (aged 25-34 years) are dying in record numbers from cirrhosis has garnered much recent attention. From 1999 to 2016, the annual mortality rate from cirrhosis in the United States increased by 65%, while the annual mortality rates from liver cancer have doubled. Researchers believe the increase is almost certainly attributable to alcohol abuse. A separate but related study investigated trends in liver cancer mortality among Americans aged 25 years and older between 2000 and 2016. Age-adjusted death rates increased by 43% for men and 40% for women during that period. Increases were seen across various groups, with death from liver cancer increasing by 48% for non-Hispanic white persons, 43% for non-Hispanic black persons, and 27% for Hispanic adults.

However, some positive news has also contributed to this trending topic. The targeted agent cabozantinib performed well in a phase 3 trial of patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma who had previously received treatment. Median overall survival was 2.2 months longer among those who received cabozantinib, and treatment was associated with a 56% reduction in the risk for progression or death. Rising awareness of increased cancer and other liver disease mortality, as well as potential means to confront those increases, resulted in this week’s top search term.

For more information on cirrhosis, read here.


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