CLF Press Releases 2016


November 28, 2016: The Canadian Liver Foundation calls on patients with primary liver cancer (HCC) to share their experiences in new global survey 


November 9, 2016: New Research Project Explores Curing Liver Cancer at the Nano Level

July 21, 2016: Not Getting the Message: Too Many Canadians Born Between 1945-1975 Unaware of Their Increased Risk of Undiagnosed Hepatitis C

March 7, 2016: Obesity linked to dramatic rise in liver disease: Alarming new statistics show that 1 in 4 Canadians may be affected by liver disease February 25, 2016: LCBO raises funds for Canadian Liver Foundation: Coinbox program will support research for children with liver disease


2015 Press Releases

October 16, 2015: Curing liver disease in a dish, then a patient: Research team using stem cells to replicate an infant’s liver disease to test treatments

July 27, 2015: Canadian Liver Foundation congratulates Government of Canada for funding collaborative hepatitis C network

March 24, 2015: Canadian Liver Foundation applauds provinces on providing access to interferon-free therapy for  hepatitis C patients -- Collaborative negotiations successful in removing financial barrier to care for many patients but testing required to identify those still undiagnosed


March 3, 2015: Maybe it’s not the disease you think it is: Canadian Liver Foundation seeks to counter stereotypes with five surprising risk factors for liver disease

March 3, 2015: Coins for Cures - LCBO stores raise funds for Canadian Liver Foundation 



2014 Press Releases

Toronto, November 18, 2014: Canadian Liver Foundation first organization in the world to endorse a declaration calling for global strategies to eliminate viral hepatitis B and C

November 17, 2014: New Canadian Liver Foundation survey reveals Canadians unaware of hepatitis C risk: Those in high risk groups have little knowledge of the deadly virus 
July 22, 2014: 'Deal with It' Documentary Reveals Canada's Hidden Hepatitis C Epidemic -- Baby Boomers largest group at risk but most don’t know it 

May 27, 2014: New Analysis Reveals the Escalating Costs Associated with Untreated Chronic Hepatitis C: Experts say Canadian health care system not prepared for a 60 per cent increase in total health care costs in the next two decades

March 4, 2014: The face of liver disease may be your own. Canadian Liver Foundation urges Canadians to 'face facts' and recognize own risk factors

January 15, 2014: Is your liver too fat?


2013 Press Releases

October 25, 2013: Canada falling behind in tackling hepatitis C: Hepatitis C symposium highlights need for national action plan

September 4, 2013:  Give for your liver: LCBO stores to raise funds for Canadian Liver Foundation

July 23, 2013: Unmask hepatitis B before it turns into liver cancer: Canadian Liver Foundation urges Ontarians with chronic hepatitis B to undergo testing every six months

May 29, 2013: Liver cancer rates a wake-up call that it's time to address liver disease epidemic 

April 15, 2013: CLF Statement regarding Justin Trudeau's support of Canadian Liver Foundation fundraiser

April 2, 2013: Landmark Study Reports a near 30 Per Cent Increase in Liver-Related Deaths in Canada in Eight Years

January 29, 2013: National survey prompts call for all Canadian boomers to get tested for hepatitis C 


2012 Press Releases


August 16, 2012:  Medication can help or hurt - it all depends on the liver

July 16, 2012: Canadian Liver Foundation and Comedian Mike MacDonald Urge Canadians to Get Tested for Hepatitis C

February 2, 2012: Lack of donor organs and poor access to treatment mean mortality rates for liver disease destined to rise

February 6, 2012:  Cure for liver disease is $1 million closer

January 19, 2012: Rising liver cancer rates show not enough being done to address contributing factors


2011 Press releases

Early diagnosis might have saved Joe Frazier’s life

Thanks to medical advances, liver cancer no longer has to be fatal

November 9, 2011: In the final fight of his life, the odds were stacked against Joe Frazier. Diagnosed with liver cancer in September, the former heavyweight champion passed away on Monday at age 67. Although the exact medical details of his cancer battle are not known, in most cases of liver cancer death may be preventable with early diagnosis and a wide range of possible treatment options.

“Ten years ago, liver cancer was almost always fatal,” says Dr. Morris Sherman, Canadian Liver Foundation Chairman and liver specialist at Toronto General Hospital. “Today it is largely curable if it is caught early. Studies have shown that regular screening can reduce liver cancer mortality by as much as 37 per cent. Unfortunately, when liver cancer is as advanced as Joe Frazier’s probably was, the treatment options are very limited.”

Liver cancer can be the end result of many different forms of liver disease. When the liver is attacked by a virus, the body’s immune system or other toxins, it develops inflammation which can then lead to scarring (cirrhosis) and eventually to liver cancer. The leading cause of liver cancer world-wide is hepatitis B, followed by hepatitis C and fatty liver disease. Joe Frazier’s family has not identified what led to his liver cancer.

“Athletes in contact sports are at risk of contracting hepatitis B or C because they may be exposed to infected blood,” says Dr. Sherman. “When Joe Frazier was in the ring, no one was testing boxers, let alone any other athlete, for these types of viruses. Today, fights can be cancelled if one of the boxers tests positive for hepatitis B or C.” Hepatitis B can be prevented by vaccine but there is no vaccine for hepatitis C. Joe Frazier’s viral hepatitis status is not known but his boxing career that involved fights against many different opponents in various parts of the world certainly would have put him at risk.

In 2006, Joe Frazier travelled to Toronto to celebrate the 40th anniversary of his showdown at Madison Square Garden with Canadian heavyweight legend George Chuvalo. The two fighters reunited at a Canadian Liver Foundation event to help raise awareness of hepatitis.

For someone who has chronic hepatitis B or has already developed cirrhosis, the risk of developing liver cancer is 3-8 percent per year. The Canadian Liver Foundation recommends that patients with cirrhosis or hepatitis B undergo ultrasound screening for liver cancer every six months.

“Many liver cancer deaths are avoidable,” says Dr. Sherman. “We have the knowledge to treat liver cancer as well as many of the diseases that cause it. Despite this, liver cancer rates in Canada continue to rise. We hope that Joe Frazier’s story will help bring greater attention to the need to screen for liver cancer so it can be identified early enough for treatment.”
 
For more information on liver cancer, click here.

About the Canadian Liver Foundation
Founded in 1969 by a group of doctors and business leaders concerned about the increasing incidence of liver disease, the Canadian Liver Foundation (CLF) was the first organization in the world devoted to providing support for research and education into the causes, diagnoses, prevention and treatment of all liver disease. Through its chapters across the country, the CLF strives to promote liver health, improve public awareness and understanding of liver disease, raise funds for research and provide support to individuals affected by liver disease.

For more information, contact
Melanie Kearns
Canadian Liver Foundation
416-491-3353 ext. 4923
mkearns@liver.ca

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Steve Jobs experience is not an accurate reflection of life expectancy for liver transplant recipients


October 7, 2011: Steve Jobs, creator of the most advanced devices in the world could not overcome the complexities – and ultimately the vulnerabilities – of his own body. The liver transplant that Jobs underwent in 2009 bought him two more years of life but could not resolve the pancreatic cancer which had spread to his liver. Although the death of one of the world’s most well known liver transplant recipients is tragic, it is not typical of liver transplant recipients in general. Seventy five to-85 per cent of liver transplant recipients live more than five years and many live more than 10 years.

“In the case of Steve Jobs his liver transplant was a treatment for a rare form of pancreatic cancer,” says Dr. Morris Sherman, Chairman of the Canadian Liver Foundation and a hepatologist at Toronto General Hospital.  “While a transplant can replace a damaged liver, it may not be a long-term solution if the virus or disease is still present and can attack the new organ.” Since about 1.4 litres of blood flows through the liver from the intestinal tract every minute, it can become a collection point for cancer cells coming from the abdomen. The powerful anti-rejection drugs required to keep a recipient’s immune system from rejecting the new organ may leave the recipient vulnerable to a recurrence of cancer.  

“For many liver disease patients, a liver transplant is a life-saving intervention that can extend their lives up to decades,” says Dr. Sherman. “Thanks to research, life expectancy post transplant continues to improve. We are also able to perform liver transplants for patients, such as those with liver cancer, who at one time were not considered viable candidates. Today our challenge is not with the expertise to perform the transplants but rather with the availability of donor organs.”

Steve Jobs was well aware of his good fortune in obtaining a transplant and in turn campaigned for new organ donation legislation to make it easier for people in the U.S. to obtain transplants. In Canada, the liver is the second most transplanted organ but demand far exceeds the supply.

“The Canadian Liver Foundation promotes organ donation and encourages all Canadians to consider being organ donors,” says Dr. Sherman. “Signing up as an organ donor is a positive step that people can take to improve the lives of people living with liver disease. Since we do not yet have effective treatments or cures for all diseases that impact the liver, we will continue to need liver transplants to save lives.”

The Canadian Liver Foundation funds research into all forms of liver disease as well as into the biochemistry and functionality of the organ that can be the end point for so many diseases. The Foundation joins the world in mourning the death of Steve Jobs and hopes that the loss of such a visionary may highlight the need for more organ donors as well as for more attention and resources for both pancreatic and liver disease research.
 
 
About the Canadian Liver Foundation
Founded in 1969 by a group of doctors and business leaders concerned about the increasing incidence of liver disease, the Canadian Liver Foundation (CLF) was the first organization in the world devoted to providing support for research and education into the causes, diagnoses, prevention and treatment of all liver disease. Through its chapters across the country, the CLF strives to promote liver health, improve public awareness and understanding of liver disease, raise funds for research and provide support to individuals affected by liver disease.

For more information, contact
Melanie Kearns
Canadian Liver Foundation
416-491-3353 ext. 4923
mkearns@liver.ca

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Healthy short cuts for busy families

Pre-packaged convenience foods recognized as nutritious and delicious in fourth annual LIVERight™ Awards  

March 7, 2011 – Busy families trying to find easy and nutritious meal solutions now have a little help. The Canadian Liver Foundation’s 2011 LIVERight™ Awards has recognized 10 packaged and prepared convenience food products as being both delicious and nutritious.

First started in 2008, the LIVERight™ Awards has two primary goals. The first is to help raise awareness of fatty liver disease, currently the most common type of liver disease in people living in North America. The second is to identify some practical solutions for individuals and families looking for healthy options to fit into their time-crunched schedules.

“An estimated 1.4 million Canadians have fatty liver disease from poor nutrition and inactivity,” says Canadian Liver Foundation President Gary Fagan. “The LIVERight™ Awards initiative draws public attention to this important health issue and creates an opportunity for companies to be recognized for their effort to be part of the solution.”

LIVERight™  Award submissions came from both well-recognized brands as well as smaller start-ups. Submissions were evaluated for their nutritional content and then in a blind taste test by nutrition and food experts.

“We understand that time pressures often make it challenging to maintain a healthy diet and there are many products on the market making a variety of health claims, says Billie Potkonjak, National Director of Health Promotion and Manager of the LIVERight™ Awards. “This year’s winners provide options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We were pleased to see a number of new companies getting involved as well as some of the previous year’s winners returning to the competition with new products.” 

For a complete list of winners, click here

About the LIVERight™ Awards

The Canadian Liver Foundation’s LIVERight™ Awards competition addresses Canadians’ need for convenient food options that are both delicious and nutritious.

This annual national award program was created to raise awareness of North America’s most common form of liver disease, fatty liver disease caused by poor nutrition and sedentary lifestyles. The disease is already estimated to be present in 18 to 24 per cent of the North American population, including children as young as two years of age.  
                    
A liver can develop deposits of fat as a result of poor nutrition or alcohol. The abnormal presence of fat in the liver can lead to serious consequences, such as inflammation of the liver (hepatitis), permanent scarring of the liver (cirrhosis) and even cancer.

2011 Award categories included: Best Kid-Friendly Item; Best Breakfast Item; Best Vegetarian Item; Best Ethnic Item; Best Snack; Best Lunchbox Item; Best Starter/Appetizer; Best Side Dish, Best Snack, Best Condiment and Best Family-Friendly Item.

Entries are judged on nutritional value, taste, visual appeal, aroma, texture, freshness and innovation. Winners may use the LIVERight™ Awards logo to leverage their product. For more details visit: www.liver.ca/liverightawards.

The 2011 judging panel included: Theresa Albert, D.H.N., R.N.C.P. (host of the popular Food Network series Just One Bite, owner of Thyme for Supper, and author of Ace Your Health and Cook Once a Week, Eat Well Every Day), James Smith (award-winning professional chef and professor at George Brown College), Judy Scott Welden (Nutritionist/Home Economist, Television Food Pro) and Diana Mager, PhD, R.D. (Assistant Professor, Clinical Nutrition, University of Alberta).

Canadian Liver Foundation

The LIVERight™ Awards are part of the Canadian Liver Foundation’s LIVERight™ initiative that aims to make liver health a priority for all Canadians. For 40 years, the Canadian Liver Foundation's mandate has been to reduce the incidence and impact of all liver diseases. Through the national office and chapters across Canada, the Foundation actively supports education and research into the causes, diagnoses, prevention and treatment of liver disease.


For media inquiries contact:
Melanie Kearns
P: 416-491-3353  E: mkearns@liver.ca
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