Korea’s ‘massive contribution’ to the fight against liver cancer has helped Seoul secure the world’s leading forum on the disease.

More than 500 experts from 30 countries are expected to attend the 11th International Liver Cancer Association (ICLA) Annual Conference, at The Grand Hyatt hotel, 15-17 September.

Tanguy Roelens, ICLA executive director, said: “One of the main reasons why Seoul was picked was the active ILCA community in Korea, and the massive contribution from Korean doctors to the ILCA programme. Korea has been the leading abstract submitting nation for three years straight now.”

The win is the latest in a raft of recent wins for South Korea in life sciences. The South Korean government is pushing its global biotechnology share, investing more than $350 million into the sector in 2016. Also this month (17-21 Sept 2017) about 1,000 members of the International Society of Ecological Modelling (ISEM) will meet in Jeju, an island which is recovering from industrial damage. The event will touch on genome sequencing, molecular ecology, and mathematical biology. Meanwhile the 14th International Congress of Parasitology should attract 2,500 people to Daegu, next year.

Liver cancer is a major field of research in the country, with Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) the most common type of cancer and the third major cause of death in Korea. The high incidence rate is thought to be related to Korea’s high carrier rate of hepatitis B virus. South Korea is home to a number of hospitals and research institutions specialising in the subject, including the Seoul National University Hospital (SNUH) Liver Cancer Center, an internationally renowned, multidisciplinary collection of personnel specialising in the treatment of and research on liver cancer across Gastroenterology, Surgery, Radiology, Radiation Oncology, and Pathology.

Recent research from SNUH showed aspirin can reduce the risk of liver cancer. A study on 1,674 chronic B hepatitis patients over 13 years showed a group taking antiplatelet drugs, including aspirin, had a lowered risk of liver cancer by 56 to 66 per cent.

The three-day ILCA Annual Conference is the leading scientific meeting in the liver cancer field, where researchers, physicians and allied professionals convene with the aim of advancing research in the pathogenesis, prevention, and treatment of liver cancer.

(via AMI, Korea Biomedical Review)


Featured image: Seoul National University Hospital