Despite the revolution of personalized cancer care and immunotherapy in many other cancer entities, liver cancer has fallen behind regarding biomarker research and personalized medicine. Based on our previous work, our translational research group aims at delineating actionable mechanisms of liver cancer initiation, progression, and immun evasion to  establish molecular risk stratification algorithms. We have the ambitious goal to implement personalized cancer care in this devastating disease, including primary prevention strategies, early cancer detection, improving treatment allocation, and solving therapeutic resistance.

We utilize state-of-the-art technologies, including liquid biopsy approaches and next-generations sequencing. We are working both on clinical and translational projects, including wet lab and dry bench work.

Lay summary

We utilize modern technologies to derive information from cancers through a simple blood test that could help us to 


Plasma DNA mutation profiling for identifying predictors of treatment response 

Liquid Biopsy refers to the analysis of tumor components that are realeased to the bloodstream. This includes nucleic acids (cell-free DNA and RNA), circulating tumor cells (CTCs) or extracellular vesicles (EVs).  The current project aims at identifying predictors of response to systemic therapies by performing targeted mutation profiling of blood samples from patients with liver cancer, including sequential samples to monitor tumor evolution. 

Role of EV-derived small RNA clusters during hepatocarcinogenesis 

We previously found that small RNA clusters (smRCs) identified in blood extracellular vesicles (EVs) were capable to ditinguish patients with early liver cancer from controls and therefore serve as an early cancer detection tool. The current project aims at delineating the functional role of smRCs during hepatocarcinogenesis and to derive therapeutic strategies for cancer prevention.

Evolution of immune profiles on circulating EVs during immunotherapy

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are known to function in cell-to-cell communication, including immune modulation. The current project aims at monitoring the evolution of immune check point profiles of cirulating EVs in the blood of patients undergoing immunotherapy.