Do Barriers to Transplantation Impact Liver Cancer Survival in Asians?

ID Number 12-0997

Principal Investigator(s)
Umut Sarpel

Department(s) or Division(s)


The purpose of this study is to explore attitudes on Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) treatment in the New York City Chinese community, and investigate perceived reasons why they undergo liver transplantation less frequently than Caucasians.

Patients may qualify to take part in this research study if of Chinese descent, have been diagnosed with liver cancer and the patient’s tumor features meet the criteria for liver transplant eligibility. We will conduct four, 1.5 hour-long focus group with 6-10 Chinese speaking patients who have liver cancer and are under care at Mount Sinai Hospital.

A focus group study is a form of research in which a group of people are asked about their perceptions, opinions, beliefs, and attitudes towards a specific issue. Questions are asked in a group setting where participants are free to express their opinions and discuss with other group members. In this study, most of the discussion will be around access to liver cancer treatment services and decision-making around one's care.  At each focus group, there will be a trained Mandarin-fluent facilitator and a Mandarin-fluent recorder. The facilitator will lead the discussion/interview from beginning to end with a progression of general to specific questions. Scripted, open-ended questions will be used to promote discussion, re-focus participants on the relevant issues, and encourage all participants to join in the discussion. Detailed notes will be taken, and the facilitator and recorder will discuss their impressions at the end of each focus group. The focus groups and the in-depth interviews will be conducted by trained staff members from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, who are working with the Mount Sinai research team on this research study.  No names will be included at the final narrative.

The purpose of these focus groups and interviews is to obtain group data and norms, rather than personal histories. The data obtained from these sessions will help establish the range of knowledge and attitudes held among your community, illustrate points of disagreement, and provide a group/normative reaction to the topic of liver cancer treatment and liver transplantation.

Contact Information
Prerna Chopra
(212) 241-4863

Recruiting Patients: Yes