Monthly Archive for: ‘September, 2013’

Progress Update!

A Reason to Affirm Your ‘Bilief’ in the Bili Project Foundation

Progress Update


Dear Bilievers,

We have made significant headway in terms of establishing the UCSF Hepatobiliary Tissue Bank (HBTB), forging partnerships with world-renowned institutions to expand our work, conducting innovative research, and leveraging contributions toward efforts that have helped the tumor bank grow.

A summary of these accomplishments is detailed below.

All-Star UCSF Research Team

research_actionOur GI Oncology laboratory includes an interdisciplinary team of world-class surgeons, clinicians, and basic and translational researchers who work closely with other specialists.

Funds from the Bili Project Foundation continue to support the endeavors of talented faculty members, including Robin K. (“Katie”) Kelley, MD, a gastrointestinal oncologist who treats liver cancers such as hepatocellular carcinoma and Robert Kerlan, MD, who is the chief of Interventional Radiology at UCSF Medical Center and is particularly interested in the management of liver disease.

Others Are Taking Notice

paparazziIn the past year, we have published our findings in journals including Annals of Oncology, Chromatographia, and Journal of Clinical Oncology, and work associated with the UCSF HBTB has been presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting in June 2013, the UCSF Liver Center Annual Symposium in April 2013, the UCSF Hematology/Oncology Division Research Retreat in February 2013, the Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium in January 2013, and the Keystone Symposia on Molecular and Cellular Biology in March 2013.

Team Expansion

growthWe have expanded our team and magnitude of work. In September 2012, we added Ryan McWhirter as a clinical research coordinator and he has been instrumental in developing the UCSF HBTB. Ryan also has coordinated specimen collection, banking, and data management for an ongoing serum micro-RNA project and a completed circulating tumor cell project.

We have also established a year-long research project for Anna Parks, a fourth-year UCSF medical student, who will be working with Ryan, entering data for the HBTB and writing a case series for publication. Building upon Anna’s experience, we hope to design a recurring educational component to the UCSF HBTB by selecting a new medical student each spring for a one-year research experience, which would involve writing a case study and participating in ongoing HBTB projects.

UCSF Hepatobiliary Tissue Bank Growing

researcherWe now have both the clinical data and specimens of blood or tumor tissue from more than 50 patients stored at the bank. One of our ongoing infrastructure projects, which will improve the functioning of the HBTB, includes the migration of the current Tissue Core database to the Cancer Center’s OnCore Clinical Trial Database. Dr. Kelley is also working closely with Dr. Susan Logan, a surgical colleague at UCSF­ Fresno, to open this banking mechanism to UCSF-Fresno along with other University of California sites which will significantly increase specimen collection and expand the scope and impact of future research using HBTB specimens

Collaborations and Development of Secondary HBTB Projects

thnkingUCSF has been approved as a site for the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) project which, owing in part to the commitment of specimens from the UCSF HBTB, is expected to be expanded to include a cholangiocarcinoma project. In addition to our participation in TCGA, other collaborative and multicenter research efforts building upon the UCSF HBTB, include:


  • Biliary tract cancer genomics studies, the Bardeesy Lab, Harvard Medical School
  • Genome-wide association study (GWAS) in hepatocellular carcinoma, MD Anderson Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • GWAS in biliary tract cancers, the Mayo Clinic
  • International Hepatobiliary Cancer Registry, the Mayo Clinic
  • Proteomics of hepatobiliary cancers, the Shokat Lab, UCSF Mission Bay Campus
 The Future is Promising

groupOur ground-breaking projects have captured the attention of other institutions and UCSF has begun partnering with Harvard Medical School, MD Anderson, and the Mayo Clinic on the study of hepatobiliary cancers.

Bilievers, we appreciate your support and dedication and look forward to all that we will accomplish together.  To affirm your bilief, SHARE this message. Donate here..