Global healthcare technology company Siemens Healthineers is calling on the expertise of the VCU Stravitz-Sanyal Institute for Liver Disease and Metabolic Health to discuss innovative solutions for the treatment and detection of liver disease, an emerging public health problem.
November 17, 2022
Arun Sanyal, MD, discusses the need for new diagnostic tools to detect liver disease. (Siemens Healthineers)
By Laura Rossacher
This week, Arun Sanyal, MDdirector of Virginia Commonwealth University Stravitz-Sanyal Institute for Liver Disease and Metabolic Health, educated a global audience of healthcare professionals about the urgent need to find new solutions for the detection and treatment of liver disease. Invited by Siemens Healthineers, Sanyal was among a small group of healthcare thought leaders to participate “Form 23,” the company’s global keynote event featuring inspiring and innovative ideas to address the global public health challenges of the future.
Liver disease is a silent killer because it doesn’t let you know something is wrong until it’s horribly wrong. That’s why we need to develop non-invasive screening tools at the primary care level,” Sanyal said. “A liver biopsy, our current tool for detecting liver disease, is not performed in routine clinical settings because it is an invasive procedure. The key to preventing liver scarring that can lead to liver cancer is to catch the disease early. Like the heart and brain, our liver is an essential organ and you cannot live without a functioning liver.”
“Siemens Healthineers Shape 23 is our annual signature event that spotlights some of the world’s most respected healthcare leaders,” said David Pacitti, president and head of the Americas at Siemens Healthineers. “The vision of the Stravitz-Sanyal Institute for Liver Disease & Metabolic Health at VCU and of the director Dr. Arun Sanyal joins Siemens Healthineers’ commitment to making a valuable contribution to the fight against liver disease through patient-centered innovation and clinical decision-making. pathways that can better reach patients everywhere. We are so grateful and honored that Dr. Sanyal has shared his insight and we look forward to how our collaboration with the Institute will fulfill our shared values of transforming patient care.”
Sanyal was joined by Siemens Healthineers Chief Medical Officer Charles “Chuck” Cooper. Cooper discussed how a blood test and future use of AI-assisted clinical decision support could help the medical community move from liver cancer detection to ultimately enabling prevention strategies. “Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which can lead to liver cancer, affects a quarter of the population,” Cooper said. “But liver cancer is often discovered at a late stage. What if clinical labs had more sophisticated tools to detect and ultimately prevent one of today’s most important emerging health problems?”
Founded almost a year agothe Stravitz-Sanyal Institute was founded to build an environment that nurtures scientific survey, science and innovation to meet both current and future health challenges. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chronic liver disease and cirrhosis were among the top 5 causes of declining U.S. life expectancy in 2021. Yet federally approved treatments for many liver diseases, including non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), absent or scarce. The only option for many patients with end-stage liver disease is a transplant, but demand far exceeds supply. The institute positions VCU as a global leader in research and education on liver and metabolic disorders, as well as in the care of patients with these conditions.