Liver Cancer

When you come to Winship Cancer Institute for liver cancer treatment, you have a multidisciplinary team of experts dedicated to your well-being.

Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University offers liver cancer treatment for primary, secondary and metastatic liver cancer patients.

Your best long-term outcome will be achieved with a comprehensive, coordinated approach that incorporates all available therapies. Your Winship care team draws on Emory’s vast resources in surgical oncology, radiation therapy and medical oncology, to provide the newest, most effective practices and treatments for liver cancer.

Our multidisciplinary care teams include oncology surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, pharmacists and advanced practice nurses with expertise in liver cancer and other gastrointestinal cancers.

The benefits of our multidisciplinary and highly experienced teams include:

  • Access to doctors and surgeons who rank among the top cancer experts in the world.
  • Weekly review of patient cases by the full team of experts.
  • Coordinated scheduling for appointments among various specialties.
  • Access to nurse navigator to assist you throughout the treatment process.
  • Access to support groups and education classes for you and your caregivers.
  • Availability of new treatment options within our clinical trials program.

Cancer involving the liver includes two major types: primary cancers that arise in the liver and metastatic cancers that spread to the liver from other sites. This section is focused on primary cancers of the liver. For information regarding metastatic cancers to the liver, please refer to the origin cancer type page.

The primary cancers of the liver are further divided into two types: liver cancer or hepatocellular, and bile duct cancers or cholangiocarcinoma.

A patient with liver cancer symptoms may have one or more of the following procedures to diagnose their disease:

CT scan or MRI: detailed pictures of the liver and surrounding organs can reveal tumors and irregular tissue.

Biopsy: a small tissue sample is examined by a pathologist to determine if cancerous cells are present.

The stage of your disease indicates how much it has spread in the liver and whether it has spread to other organs and lymph nodes. Early stage cancer is a disease limited to the liver. Late stage cancer indicates spread to other organs like the lung or to the bone. Determining the stage of your cancer will affect your treatment plan. Your Winship care team may use one or more tests and procedures to determine the stage of your cancer including a blood test and imaging tests.

For reliable, in-depth information about cancer symptoms, staging and diagnosis, visit CancerQuest, an educational and outreach program at Emory University. 

Visit CancerQuest

Your individualized treatment plan will take into account the stage of your disease, your overall health, the side effects of the treatment, and relieving liver cancer symptoms.


Your care team will discuss treatment options with you and it is important to take time and consider all possible choices. One or more of the following types of treatment will be used.

Transplant: is the replacement of a diseased liver with some or all of a healthy liver from another person. This procedure is useful in small tumors that do not involve the blood vessels.

Surgery: a surgeon may remove parts of the liver and nearby affected tissues.

Liver directed therapies: a group of minimally invasive procedures usually performed by interventional radiologists. These procedures include ablation and transcatheter therapies. Ablation means the destruction of the tumors by directly applying heat, cold or energy (microwave). Transcatheter therapies include injecting small particles that carry chemotherapy or radioactive material directly into the blood vessels that supply the tumor. Liver directed therapies may be used to shrink tumors in preparation for surgery or transplant.

Radiation: Liver cancer may be treated using radiation to shrink the tumor. Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays to kill cancer cells. For bile duct cancer, radiation may be used in combination with surgery and chemotherapy. It may also be used when surgery is not an option. Learn more about radiation therapy treatments and services.

Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is sometimes used to treat bile duct cancer in addition to surgery and radiation. In addition to standard targeted therapies, participating in a clinical trial may be an option in certain cases. Clinical trials provide patients access to new medications that are being developed to treat bile duct cancer.

Targeted therapies: researchers identify unique characteristics of tumors that make them vulnerable to known drugs so therapy can be tailored to an individual’s cancer. In targeted therapies, investigators look for new drugs that more selectively target cancer cells with fewer side effects.

In addition to delivering the highest quality medical care, we recognize the importance of the psychological and emotional aspects of living with a cancer diagnosis and of dealing with treatment. Our supportive oncology team addresses these issues in a timely manner with additional support from counselorsnurse navigatorsdietitians and social service professionals.

 Consider talking with your doctor about participating in a clinical trial at Winship. Through these trials, you may have access to treatments that are not widely available.

Learn More About Clinical Trials

If you have been diagnosed with liver cancer, we are ready to help you. Call us at 1 (888) 946-7447 or (404) 778-1900 to make an appointment or request an appointment online. Winship experts are available to provide a second opinion.

We understand that this is a very stressful time. We welcome your questions and requests for help. Learn what to expect on your first visit.

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Olatunji B. Alese MD

  • Medical Oncologist
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                                 Olatunji B.  Alese MD
Olatunji B. Alese MD

Olatunji B. Alese MD

Wendy Baer MD

  • Oncology Psychiatrist
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                                 Wendy Baer MD
Wendy Baer MD

Wendy Baer MD

  • Dr. Baer helps patients and their families deal with the stress of receiving a cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment.
  • Medical Director of Psychiatric Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
  • (404) 778-1900

Tiffany Barrett MS, RD, CSO, LD

  • Nutrition Advisor
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                                 Tiffany Barrett MS, RD, CSO, LD
Tiffany Barrett MS, RD, CSO, LD

Tiffany Barrett MS, RD, CSO, LD

Chandar Bhimani MD

  • Medical Oncologist
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                                 Chandar  Bhimani MD
Chandar Bhimani MD

Chandar Bhimani MD

  • Dr. Bhimani is a hematology and medical oncology specialist treating patients at Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital.
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-1900

Stephanie Boyea MS, RD, CSO, LD

  • Nutrition Advisor
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                                 Stephanie Boyea MS, RD, CSO, LD
Stephanie Boyea MS, RD, CSO, LD

Stephanie Boyea MS, RD, CSO, LD

Tiffany Brosius RN, BSN, OCN

  • Nurse Navigator
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                                 Tiffany Brosius RN, BSN, OCN
Tiffany Brosius RN, BSN, OCN

Tiffany Brosius RN, BSN, OCN

Edith Brutcher NP, ANP-BC, MSN, AOCNP

  • Nurse Practitioner
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                                 Edith Brutcher NP, ANP-BC, MSN, AOCNP
Edith Brutcher NP, ANP-BC, MSN, AOCNP

Edith Brutcher NP, ANP-BC, MSN, AOCNP

  • A chemotherapy infusion specialist and adult nurse practitioner, Ms. Brutcher's clinical specialties include gastrointestinal and aerodigestive cancers.
  • Adult Nurse Practitioner, Department of Medical Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
  • (404) 778-1900

Kenneth Cardona MD, FACS

  • Surgical Oncologist
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                                 Kenneth Cardona MD, FACS
Kenneth Cardona MD, FACS

Kenneth Cardona MD, FACS

  • Dr. Cardona is a board certified surgeon and surgical oncologist who specializes in the management of complex gastrointestinal malignancies (such as stomach, pancreas, and liver cancers) and is an expert in the treatment of sarcomas.
  • Co-Chair Gastrointestinal Oncology Working Group, Emory University Hospital Midtown
  • (404) 686-3203

Cynthia Cohen MD

  • Pathologist
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                                 Cynthia Cohen MD
Cynthia Cohen MD

Cynthia Cohen MD

  • Dr. Cohen collaborates with basic researchers in nanotechnology on breast cancers, and in ovarian and pancreatic carcinoma, providing immunohistochemistry services.
  • Professor, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 712-5947

Kimberly A. Curseen MD

  • Supportive Oncologist
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                                 Kimberly A. Curseen MD
Kimberly A. Curseen MD

Kimberly A. Curseen MD

  • Board certified in Internal Medicine, Geriatrics, and Palliative Care, Dr. Curseen is the primary provider for the Supportive Oncology Clinic at Winship.
  • Director of Supportive and Palliative Care Outpatient Services , Emory Healthcare
  • (404) 778-6448

Bassel El-Rayes MD

  • Medical Oncologist
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                                 Bassel El-Rayes MD
Bassel El-Rayes MD

Bassel El-Rayes MD

  • Dr. El-Rayes is head of the clinical trials program at the Winship. He also serves as Director of the Winship Gastrointestinal Oncology Program.
  • Associate Director for Clinical Research, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
  • (404) 778-1900

Joan Giblin NP

  • Survivorship Program
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                                 Joan  Giblin NP
Joan Giblin NP

Joan Giblin NP

  • An experienced nurse practitioner specialist with extensive patient care involvement, Ms. Giblin facilitates continued good health and quality of life for cancer survivors.
  • Survivorship Program Director, Winship Cancer Institute
  • (404) 778-1900

Natalyn Hawk MD, PhD

  • Medical Oncologist
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                                 Natalyn Hawk MD, PhD
Natalyn Hawk MD, PhD

Natalyn Hawk MD, PhD

  • As a member of both the Gastrointestinal Oncology working group and the Sarcoma working group, Dr. Hawk sees patients with either gastrointestinal or connective tissue malignancies.
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-1900

Bonnie Josaphs RN, BSN, OCN

  • Nurse Navigator
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                                 Bonnie  Josaphs RN, BSN, OCN
Bonnie Josaphs RN, BSN, OCN

Bonnie Josaphs RN, BSN, OCN

  • Ms. Josaphs practices within gastrointestinal oncology including assisting colorectal, liver and pancreatic cancer patients.
  • Gastrointestinal Cancer Nurse Navigator, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
  • (404) 778-1900

Darren Kies MD

  • Radiologist
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                                 Darren Kies MD
Darren Kies MD

Darren Kies MD

David A. Kooby MD, FACS

  • Surgical Oncologist
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                                 David A. Kooby MD, FACS
David A. Kooby MD, FACS

David A. Kooby MD, FACS

  • Dr. Kooby is involved in multicenter clinical research and is an international leader in minimally invasive pancreatic and liver surgery.
  • Professor, Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-3805

Jerome C. Landry MD, MBA

  • Radiation Oncologist
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                                 Jerome C. Landry MD, MBA
Jerome C. Landry MD, MBA

Jerome C. Landry MD, MBA

  • Dr. Landry specializes in the treatment of gastrointestinal tumors and soft tissue sarcomas.
  • Chief of Service, Edward Loughlin Oncology Center, Grady Memorial Hospital
  • (404) 778-3473

Colleen Lewis NP

  • Nurse Practitioner
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                                 Colleen Lewis NP
Colleen Lewis NP

Colleen Lewis NP

Shishir K. Maithel MD, FACS

  • Surgical Oncologist
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                                 Shishir K. Maithel  MD, FACS
Shishir K. Maithel MD, FACS

Shishir K. Maithel MD, FACS

  • Dr. Maithel is a board certified surgeon and surgical oncologist with special interest in sarcoma and malignancies of the liver, bile ducts, pancreas, stomach, colon, and small intestine.
  • Associate Professor, Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-0210

Beth Perlmutter MSSW, LCSW, OSW-C

  • Social Worker
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                                 Beth Perlmutter MSSW, LCSW, OSW-C
Beth Perlmutter MSSW, LCSW, OSW-C

Beth Perlmutter MSSW, LCSW, OSW-C

  • At Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital, Ms. Perlmutter works with patients of all cancer types providing resource referrals and counseling services.
  • Social Worker, Outpatient Oncology, Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital
  • (678) 843-7826

Kimberly Pizarek PA-C

  • Physician Assistant
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                                 Kimberly Pizarek PA-C
Kimberly Pizarek PA-C

Kimberly Pizarek PA-C

  • Ms. Pizarek works with Dr. Maria Russell of the surgical oncology team to provide care for breast cancer, gastrointestinal, melanoma and sarcoma patients.
  • Physician Assistant , Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
  • (404) 778-1900

Meredith Renfroe CCRP

  • Clinical Research Coordinator
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                                 Meredith Renfroe CCRP
Meredith Renfroe CCRP

Meredith Renfroe CCRP

  • Clinical Research Coordinator IV, Gastrointestinal Oncology Team Lead, Clinical Trials Office, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
  • (404) 778-2670

Carol Rivera ACBSW

  • Social Worker
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                                 Carol Rivera ACBSW
Carol Rivera ACBSW

Carol Rivera ACBSW

Maria C. Russell MD

  • Surgical Oncologist
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                                 Maria C. Russell MD
Maria C. Russell MD

Maria C. Russell MD

  • Dr. Russell's treats melanoma and metastatic melanoma, tumors of the liver, biliary tract, pancreas, spleen and gallbladder, metastatic tumors to the liver, tumors of the gastrointestinal tract, and neuroendocrine tumors.
  • Assistant Professor, Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 686-3203

Juan M. Sarmiento MD, FACS

  • Surgeon
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                                 Juan M. Sarmiento MD, FACS
Juan M. Sarmiento MD, FACS

Juan M. Sarmiento MD, FACS

  • Dr. Sarmiento, an expert in liver, biliary tract and pancreas surgery, is one of only a handful of surgeons with a commitment to hepatopancreatic biliary surgery.
  • Associate Professor, Division of General and GI Surgery, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-1900

Walid L. Shaib MD

  • Medical Oncologist
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                                 Walid L. Shaib MD
Walid L. Shaib MD

Walid L. Shaib MD

Vinita Singh MD

  • Pain Management Specialist
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                                 Vinita Singh MD
Vinita Singh MD

Vinita Singh MD

  • Dr. Singh collaborates with oncologists to provide state-of-the-art therapies to cancer patients suffering from pain symptoms.
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 686-2410

Stephen M. Szabo MD

  • Medical Oncologist
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                                 Stephen M. Szabo MD
Stephen M. Szabo MD

Stephen M. Szabo MD

  • Dr. Szabo practices general medical oncology and specializes in the treatment of breast cancer, gastrointestinal cancers, and benign hematology at Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital.
  • Director of Community Oncology, Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital
  • (404) 778-1900

Margaret (Maggie) Tinsley LMSW

  • Social Worker
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                                 Margaret (Maggie) Tinsley LMSW
Margaret (Maggie) Tinsley LMSW

Margaret (Maggie) Tinsley LMSW

  • Ms. Tinsley works with the genitourinary and gastrointestinal patients at Winship Cancer Institute and the breast, gynecological and sarcoma patients at Emory University Hospital Midtown.
  • Social Worker, Medical Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
  • (404) 778-5976

William Torres MD, FACR

  • Radiologist
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                                 William Torres MD, FACR
William Torres MD, FACR

William Torres MD, FACR

  • Vice Chair of Clinical Affairs of Emory University School of Medicine, Dr. Torres is a well-known abdominal radiologist with research focuses in gastrointestinal diseases and their diagnoses.
  • Chief, Department of Radiology, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
  • (404) 778-1900

Jeffrey M. Vainshtein MD

  • Radiation Oncologist
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                                 Jeffrey M. Vainshtein MD
Jeffrey M. Vainshtein MD

Jeffrey M. Vainshtein MD

  • Dr. Vainshtein treats patients with head and neck cancer, gastrointestinal malignancies, thoracic malignancies and sarcomas at both Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital and Emory University Hospital.
  • Instructor, Clinical Track, Department of Radiation Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-3473

Roger S. Williams DO

  • Interventional Radiologist
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                                 Roger S. Williams DO
Roger S. Williams DO

Roger S. Williams DO

  • Dr. Williams is a board certified radiologist with a certificate of Added Qualification in Interventional Radiology. He is part of a multi-disciplinary team of medical, surgical and radiation oncologists who develop specialized treatment plans for each patient.
  • Interim Director, Interventional Radiology and Image-Guided Medicine, Emory University Hospital Midtown
  • (404) 778-1900

Joshua H. Winer MD

  • Surgical Oncologist
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                                 Joshua H. Winer MD
Joshua H. Winer MD

Joshua H. Winer MD

  • Dr. Winer's specialties include HIPEC, laparoscopic and robotic pancreas, liver, and gastric resections, and minimally invasive colon surgery.
  • Assistant Professor, Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-8377

Kei Yamada MD

  • Radiologist
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                                 Kei Yamada MD
Kei Yamada MD

Kei Yamada MD

  • Dr. Yamada is a board certified radiologist with subspecialty fellowship training in interventional radiology.
  • Assistant Professor, Interventional Radiology and Image-Guided Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine
  • (404) 778-1900