Hepatobiliary malignancies represent a major cause of mortality globally and are uniquely aggressive in Latin America. The most common tumors are: hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) affecting young individuals in Latin America and being the second most common cause of cancer-related death worldwide; cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) with minimal survival upon diagnosis and largely understudied in the region; gallbladder cancer (GBC) being a rare tumor worldwide but representing the second most common cause of cancer-related death in women in Chile. Key factors related to the excessive mortality of these tumors are the lack of reliable screening methods and the complexity of diagnosis, which requires advanced imaging technology and difficult-to-access tissue. These barriers are amplified by poor accessibility present in resource-limited regions, all of which leads to tumors being diagnosed at advanced stages in which curative therapy is not an option.
ESCALON will result in novel tools that are easily accessible and will dramatically reduce the burden of cancer-related mortality in Latin America.