2015 HCCEC Meeting Minutes

With support from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the third meeting of the Hepatocellular Carcinoma Epidemiology Consortium (HCCEC) was conducted at the Houston Marriott Medical Center; third floor, Conference Rooms 1-2, on Saturday, September, 19, 2015. The meeting was aimed at discussing a strategic plan for harmonization of clinical and epidemiological data between participating centers of HCCEC. In addition, we discussed the progress of the collaboration between institutions included in the discovery phase of the genomic wide association study of HCC. A formal HCCEC Meeting Agenda was planned for the meeting and was distributed to all Investigators before the meeting.

Dr. Hassan opened the meeting with a short introduction and welcomes statement; followed by a 20-minute presentation to highlight the specific aims of the genomic wide association study and requirements of the discovery phase which is approved by the Center for Inherited Disease Research (CIDR).

Summary sample size from participated sites, controls use from Panc4 and newly recruited controls, versions of the genotyping assays by CIDR, and possibility of customized SNPs were discussed between investigators in the room. Data sharing regulation and service agreements between participated institutions and CIDR were presented. Dr. Hassan also highlighted the important points related to guidelines for plating DNA samples for genotyping.

After Dr. Hassan’s presentation, Mr. Rolf Taylor, Executive Vice President of Global Liver Institute discussed the possibility of merging HCCEC into larger program focusing on HCC research with the goal of applying for Industrial funding to build global HCC Registry. The third session of the meeting highlighted data harmonization between participating centers. This session covered 3 topics: 1) Use of Rave Registry Data Base by Mayo Clinic to optimize data structure and work on harmonization of epidemiological and clinical data for HCC research between the participating centers of HCCEC. From the research team of Dr. Lewis Roberts, Miss Giama, the RN of the Hepatobiliary diseases at Mayo Clinic, gave a detailed presentation about the structure of the Rave Registry Data Base which was customized according to the HCCEC DataSchema of the most relevant variables of HCC research. Although such presentation was presented during 2014 annual meeting, members of the HCCEC agreed that Rave presentation should be highlighted in each annual meeting until all sites engaged and data harmonization can be achieved. The success of University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and progress achieved by Dr. Kelley, the study PI at UCSF was highlighted in the meeting. Andrea Bocobo, RN at UCSF presented their experience in patients registration use the RAVE. During the meeting Dr. Donghui Li presented the guidelines of blood sample collection, processing and DNA isolation for GWAS analysis.

During the meeting and through conference call, Dr. Danielle Carrick, NCI program director, provided a detailed presentation about the General Mission, Priorities, and Activities within NCI, Support for consortia and Other Resources. The presentation highlighted an overall picture of NCI and EGRP structure, the vision of the DCCPS, and current NCI resources.

The second session of the meeting included 4 special presentations. The first by Dr. Lewis Roberts from Mayo Clinic presented an update about the latest in TCGA HCC project. The second presentation by Dr. Christopher Amos from Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth who provided an overview presentation about the proposed statistical approach of HCC GWAS with special highlight on Mendelian Randomization and Mediation Analysis.  The third presentation of the second session was given by Dr. Gloria Petersen, the leader of Pancreatic Cancer Case-Control Consortium (www.Panc4.org). She provided a presentation about the Panc4 Results and learning lessons from the successful GWAS including main points should be implemented in HCCEC for production of joint publications between HCCEC members related to different research topics in HCC.

In 2015 annual meeting we invited Dr. Setiawan, Wendy, from USC Keck School of Medicine who presented a great presentation about the Incidence and Risk Factors for Hepatocellular Carcinoma in the Multiethnic Cohort. A detailed presentation about the association between type-II diabetes and HCC development was given by Dr. Setiawan especially among Hispanic population as compared to other racial groups.

During lunch a group picture of HCC GWAS investigators was taken by Dr. Lenzi, who provided his experience in photography get this picture as a gift for the consortium group.

The status of the validation phase by participated sites and progress in patients’ recruitment or availability of DNA samples from HCC cases, HCV controls, or healthy controls was described by the primary investigators from all participated sites including the following:

Dr. Amit-Singal presentation from University of Texas Southwest Dallas, Texas

Dr. Jing Chen presentation from Columbia University, New York

Dr. Jenny Wey presentation from Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL

Dr. Jian-Min Yuan presentation from University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (Shadyside) Cancer Pavilion, PA

Dr. Rebeca Miksad presentation from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA

Dr. Sara Olson presentation from Memorial Sloan Kettering, New York, NY

Dr. Yuko Kono presentation from University of California San Diego, CA

Dr. Prasun K Jalal presentation from Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX

Dr. Hashem El Serag presentation from VA Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine, TX

Dr. Howard Mansour presentation from Houston Methodist Hospital, TX

Dr. Victor I Machicao presentation from University of Texas Medical School Houston

In addition to the active collaborating sites, new sites expressed their interest to join the GWAS study showing their ongoing activities in HCC and HCV patients’ recruitment in multiple studies under the leadership and expertise of Dr. Robert Gish, Dr. Anita Kohil, Dr. Richard, Manch, and Dr. Mindie H. Nguyen.

Discussion about moving some sites with existing resources of DNAs from validation phase to the discovery phase was also discussed between investigators.

Open discussions about several points related to collaboration and data harmonization was initiated and included the agreements of the GWAS R01 application, IRB approvals, and institutional certifications for the participation in the discovery phase by CIDR.