As the first SPORE of its kind in the United States, the Mayo Clinic Hepatobiliary SPORE is devoted to improving the diagnosis and treatment of liver cancer and bile duct cancer.

New treatment options for hepatobiliary cancers are urgently needed. Five-year survival rates are low, and the death rate is on the rise.

Research in the Hepatobiliary SPORE is driving new discoveries that are providing important insights about the biology of hepatocellular carcinomas. Investigators are working on new diagnostic tests, screening treatment compounds, launching new clinical trials, identifying biomarkers and harnessing the power of oncolytic viruses to attack cancer. Research advances in the SPORE can change the trajectory of liver cancer and bile duct cancer, offering optimism for patients facing a sometimes grim prognosis.

The Mayo Clinic Hepatobiliary SPORE builds on significant contributions our investigators have already made to research on liver cancer and bile duct cancer.

Research focus

Researchers in the Mayo Clinic Hepatobiliary SPORE investigate three types of hepatobiliary cancer through four translational research projects that focus on cutting-edge approaches to early detection and treatment:


SPORE stands for Specialized Program of Research Excellence. A SPORE is the cornerstone of the National Cancer Institute's efforts to promote collaborative, interdisciplinary translational cancer research. The Hepatobiliary SPORE is funded by the NCI, which awarded Mayo Clinic a five-year, $11.5 million grant in October 2018.

The Hepatobiliary SPORE is part of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Program, which is a formal research program within the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center.

Principal investigators

The principal investigators for the Mayo Clinic Hepatobiliary SPORE are:

Patient advocates

The Hepatobiliary SPORE seeks advice from patient advocates across the United States who represent the interests of hepatobiliary cancer patients and help increase awareness of and support for research on hepatobiliary cancer. For a list of SPORE patient advocates, contact Dr. Roberts by emailing roberts.lewis@mayo.edu or calling (507) 266-3239.