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Hepatocellular Carcinoma Diagnosis (HCC Dx) DFP

DFP Profile


Hepatocellular Carcinoma Diagnosis Disease Focused Panel



1. To facilitate the adoption of a single system for imaging-based diagnosis and reporting of HCC in North America.

2. To provide radiologists with tools and knowledge to detect and diagnose hepatocellular carcinoma.



Summary of activities:


The HCC Diagnosis DFP comprises academic radiologists, community / private practice radiologists, gastroenterologists and liver transplant surgeons.


In its first year, DFP members created a standardized slide deck which has been presented to over 20 academic radiology groups and clinicians/surgeons across North America. Challenges related to reporting of findings in the liver were reviewed, as well as a description and comparison of current systems available for reporting observations in the liver. LI-RADS was highlighted, with focus on optimizing imaging techniques, standardized reporting tools and evidence-based background. Gaps in knowledge, where future radiologist-driven research is needed, were reviewed.


The HCC Diagnosis DFP also created two separate online surveys; one for radiologists and one for clinicians/surgeons.  Surveys were distributed to audience-members attending the slide deck presentations describe above. The surveys collected data on participants’ perceptions about the importance of diagnostic system unification, appropriateness of including within radiology reports follow-up imaging or management suggestions barriers to adoption of  standardized classification systems for HCC diagnosis, including LI-RADS.  The survey also polled participants on use of standardized systems in current practice. The data collected through the survey will inform future work by the HCC Diagnosis DFP as well as imminent updates of LI-RADS.


Future work:


The future work of the HCC Diagnosis DFP will continue, based on previously described unmet needs and goals:


1. Clinical practice: Adoption of a unified system in North America will facilitate communication between radiologists and their respective clinicians and surgeons.  The overarching goal is to have better inter and intra-reader accuracy and homogeneity by using a single, unified primary liver lesion reporting tool.


Un updated, more succinct slide deck is being created by members of the DFP group which will then be presented to private practice and community radiologists as well as physician groups to better understand the unmet needs, and perceived barriers for implementing standardized radiology reporting of liver observations in patients at risk for HCC.  An updated set of survey questions is being designed based on results from the initial survey results.


The academic radiologists and clinicians/surgeons who participated in the initial survey and who agreed to a follow up survey will be asked about subsequent changes in use of standardized reporting in clinical practice.


2. Research: Adoption of a standardized system of terminology will facilitate pooling of research at various North American centers, thereby allowing more robust data for future meta-analysis of topics related to HCC diagnosis and therapy.


Review of the results from current and upcoming standardized survey created for radiologists and clinicians/surgeons.   The results of the surveys will help identify learning gaps, perceived barriers to using a standardized system and specific questions geared towards clinicians and surgeons about radiologists’ role in imaging HCC.   This survey is an initial research tool which will help us direct future DFP group work.


As part of the HCC Diagnosis DFP, we will compile a list of gaps in current evidence-based knowledge related to HCC diagnosis and update the SAR website with this information, encouraging SAR members to actively participate in answering these research questions. Stay tuned!


3. Education:  Use of a standardized liver lesion reporting system will facilitate education for trainees as well as referring clinicians and surgeons.  This will in turn help to improve future quality and homogeneity of liver hepatocellular reporting and characterization.


• The current, and soon-to-be updated, standardized slide decks for radiologists and clinicians/surgeons  address some of these issues and have been and will be presented to a broad audience. The involvement and engagement of community and private practice groups. 


4. Interdisciplinary collaboration:  By including gastroenterologists and liver transplant surgeons in the DFP group, we have engaged in an interdisciplinary collaboration.


As part of this DFP, we will continue to develop working multi-specialty relationships, collaborations and academic partnerships in small research projects to support the mission of adopting a single system for describing and diagnosing HCC. These efforts will help to engender trust among subspecialties and create a pathway towards better communication with the ultimate goals of improving patient care.


SAR HCC Diagnosis DFP Members:

An enthusiastic group of volunteers from all over North American who participate regularly in the group activities to keep moving forward with the SAR DFP: HCC diagnosis goals!  This group includes 8 full professors, 13 associate professors, 11 assistant professors and 3 community radiologists from various academic institutions and private practice centers across North America with a member hailing from as far away as Melbourne, Australia.  


DFP Members - Institution

Claude Sirlin (co-chair) - UCSD

Khaled Elsayes (co-chair)  - MD Anderson Cancer Centre

Ania Kielar (co-chair) - University of Ottawa
Ryan Ash - University of Kansas
Mustafa Bashir - Duke University
Stuart Bentley-Hibbert - Columbia University
Bijan Bijan - Sutter Medical foundation
Victoria Chernyak - Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Irene Cruite - Providence Health and Services
Sandeep Deshmukh - Thomas Jefferson University
Richard Do - Memorial Sloan Kettering
Alice Fung - Oregon Health and Science University
Alessandro Furlan - University of Pittsburgh
Katie Fowler - Mallinckrodt Institute
Elizabeth Hecht - New York Presbyterian Hospital
Jay Heiken - Mallinckrodt Institute
Alan Hemming - UCSD

Natally Horvat- memorial Sloan Ketterying
Hero Hussain - University of Michigan
Kedar Jambhekar - University of Arkansas
Chris Kagay - California Pacific Medical Centre

Aya Kamaya- Stanford
Harmeet Kaur - MD Anderson, Texas 
Yuko Kono - UCSD

Chandana (Sandy) Lall- University of California Irvine
Jimmy Lee - University of Kentucky
Rohit Loomba - UCSD
Bob Marks - Uniformed Services University for Health Sciences, Naval Medical Center San Diego
John McGahan - University of California, Davis
Michelle McNamara - University of Alabama

Don Mitchell - Thomas Jefferson University
Eleanor Ormsby - Kaiser Permanente
Nisha Sainani - Brigham and Womens' Hospital
Cynthia Santillan - UCSD
Krishna Shanbhogue - New York University Langone Centre

Anurada Shenoy-Bangle- BIDMC
Al Silva - Mayo Clinic
Damien Stella - University of Melbourne, Royal Melbourne Hospital
Venkat Surabhi - University of Texas
Janio Szklaru - MD Anderson Cancer Centre

Joseph Yacoub- Loyola University


Click here to view photos of all Panel members.





Member Resources

Get Involved!


1. If you would like to survey your group practice, we would be happy to send you the link to our survey. This would help us better understand how standardization or reporting could be improved and how to foster increased engagement


2. Coming soon: 

a) Current gaps in research related to HCC diagnosis
b) Getting involved in research
c) List of potential mentors and collaborators




Email: | Phone: 847-752-5355
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