PI: Alice Assinger
Funded by: Austrian Science Fund (FWF- P 32064)
Funding period: 9/2020-9/2023
The liver is the only organ which is able to restore its own mass after large parts have been removed. This makes liver resection a widely used and effective treatment for many cancers.
Despite improvements in surgical techniques and patient care, postoperative morbidity and mortality after liver resection remain a major concern, leading to liver failure and death in 11-13% of high-risk patients. There is currently no reliable marker to predict liver complications, nor are there any strategies to improve disease progression.
For several years we have been investigating novel methods for detection as well as improvement of therapeutic interventions to prevent liver dysfunction.
Recently, we made a significant breakthrough to predict postoperative liver regeneration complications: we could show that microRNAs, which circulate in blood, can predict complications in liver regeneration with a better accuracy than any previously available parameter for liver function. In this project, we plan to evaluate the therapeutic potential of microRNAs in liver regeneration, in order to develop novel treatment strategies for patients. To explore this, we apply modern in vitro techniques as well as animal models to investigate the therapeutic role of microRNAs in liver regeneration processes.
The fact that there is currently no treatment option available to support liver regeneration is a major clinical problem. Thus, this project is highly relevant to improve the quality of life and survival of these patients.