Guy and Diehl Receive Fibrolamellar Cancer Foundation Grant

Cindy Guy, MD

Anna Mae Diehl, MD and Cindy Guy, MD received a Fibrolamellar Cancer Foundation grant. Drs. Diehl and Guy are co-PIs on a project entitled “Hedgehog and YAP signaling in Fibrolamellar Carcinoma: Tumor-stroma crosstalk and the cancer stem cell niche.”  Fibrolamellar carcinoma (FLC) is a rare but lethal liver tumor primarily affecting adolescents and young adults.  There is currently no effective chemotherapy and the overall survival rate is low. This 2 year project will leverage knowledge about liver fibrosis and regeneration to better understand the role of hepatic stellate cells (the major fibrous matrix producers in the liver) in mobilizing signaling pathways which control stem/progenitor cell fate. The initial work with include characterizing Hedgehog and Yap activity in human FLC, and developing co-culture models of FLC cells and myofibroblastic hepatic stellate cells. The ultimate goal will be the use a human FLC xenograft mouse model to test the therapeutic efficacy of various existing Hedgehog and Yap pathway inhibitors.