EPIC Working Groups - Cancer Working Groups

The Liver Cancer Working Group

Primary liver cancer, and in particular the most common form of it, hepatocellular carcinoma, is one of the most lethal cancers and the third most common cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. It shares one major common characteristic with lung cancer: it is difficult to treat, but it is largely preventable. Most relevant cohort studies have been undertaken in Asia, where this malignancy is relatively common. Few such studies, however, have been conducted in Europe or North America, where the risk profile of the disease is likely to be different from the one prevailing in Asia or Africa. An important aim of the EPIC Liver Cancer Working Group is therefore to identify the dominant risk factors in a European population and quantify their contribution to the burden of the disease in Europe.

Examples of this work include identification of inflammatory and metabolic biomarkers for primary liver cancer1,2, quantification of the role of established risk factors in the burden of hepatocellular carcinoma in Europe3, as well as study of the role of dietary factors in the etiology of the disease4,5.


Selected publications:

  1. Aleksandrova K et al. Inflammatory and metabolic biomarkers and risk of liver and bilary tract cancer. Hepatology. 2014 Jan 17. doi: 10.1002/hep.27016. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 24443059

  2. Lukanova A et al. Prediagnostic plasma testosterone, sex hormone-binding globulin, IGF-I and hepatocellular carcinoma: etiological factors or risk markers? Int J Cancer. 2014 Jan 1;134(1):164-73. PMID: 23801371

  3. Trichopoulos D et al. Hepatocellular carcinoma risk factors and disease burden in a European cohort: a nested case-control study. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2011 Nov 16;103(22):1686-95. PMID: 22021666

  4. Fedirko V et al. Consumption of fish and meats and risk of hepatocellular carcinoma: the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). Ann Oncol. 2013 Aug;24(8):2166-73. PMID: 23670094

  5. Zamora-Ros R et al. Dietary flavonoid, lignan and antioxidant capacity and risk of hepatocellular carcinoma in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study. Int J Cancer. 2013 Nov 15;133(10):2429-43. PMID: 23649669

Contact details/Working Group leaders

Antonia Trichopoulou, MD, PhD
Hellenic Health Foundation, 13 Kaisareias Street, Athens, GR-115 27, Greece


Mazda Jenab, PhD
Nutritional Epidemiology Group
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC/WHO)
150 cours Albert Thomas, 69008 Lyon, France