Kimberly A. Brown, MD, FAASLD

Kimberly A. Brown, MD, FAASLD

AASLD’s educational programming at DDW® is designed to provide a broad education on hot liver disease topics for general gastroenterologists and deeper learning for hepatologists seeking information on the latest research and treatment advances, according to AASLD Secretary Kimberly A. Brown, MD, FAASLD.

“Most of the people who attend DDW are gastroenterologists. They have training in liver disease, but it’s not the primary focus of their practice,” said Dr. Brown, chief of the division of gastroenterology and hepatology at Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI.

“Yet in communities and in hospitals, they are the people who are responsible for those patients and are often the physicians who receive the referrals,” she continued. “Our goal is really to increase their education such that they’re better able to care for patients who have liver disease.”

Dr. Brown said AASLD’s annual Hepatology Update: The Year in Review session is perfect for DDW attendees looking for a quick review of a variety of liver diseases in a single afternoon. The three-hour session will take place Saturday, June 2, and will provide a comprehensive overview of recent advances in hepatitis C, hepatitis B, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), portal hypertension and liver transplantation. The session’s expert speakers will emphasize papers published in the last 12 months that are expected to have clinical implications.

“It’s a really nice capsule for the person who does a lot of different things, including liver, and just wants what’s important this year,” Dr. Brown said.

NAFLD is prominent in AASLD’s programming this year. Two clinical symposia (NASH – Therapeutic Approaches: Diet, Exercise and Medication on Sunday, June 3, and Clinical Challenges in Adult and Pediatric Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease on Monday, June 4) will review the latest therapeutic approaches and challenges for adult and pediatric NAFLD patients.

“There’s a marked increase in the programming around the diagnosis, natural history, treatment and clinical trials for NAFLD because it affects so many people in the United States. It is now the thing that we see most commonly in our clinical practice,” Dr. Brown said.

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is another hot topic, and a clinical symposium on Tuesday, June 5, will address cutting-edge multimodal options to treat HCC.

“There are new oral medications that are being developed and there’s a lot of work around strategies for managing these patients, both before and potentially in conjunction with transplant, and even following transplantation,” Dr. Brown said. “It’s such a multidisciplinary process, so the clinical symposium is a nice place to bring all of that together.”

AASLD will also offer several state-of-the-art lectures at DDW, including a Tuesday session on the practical management of cirrhosis.

“This focuses the clinician on the five major things that are going to happen to their patient with advanced liver disease and provides the ‘CliffsNotes’ as to what the guidelines say about managing them,” Dr. Brown said.