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Available Clinical Research

Thank you for your interest in liver research at Penn State Health Liver Center and Penn State College of Medicine.

Dr. Jonathan Stine and his expert team are dedicated to improving outcomes for people with:

  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Liver cancer
  • Liver disease-related clotting disorders
  • Need for liver transplantation
  • And other liver conditions

Browse the sections below to learn more about clinical research with Dr. Stine’s team, or contact the team directly:

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Ongoing Studies

Open the tabs below to view all clinical research with Dr. Stine and his team. A brief overview of the study and criteria are included. For questions about what happens during liver research studies, please visit this page.

If you do not see your specific condition listed below or are interested in upcoming studies, please reach out to the study team:

Phone: 717-531-0003, ext. 320223

Fax: 717-531-6848

Email: StineLaboratory@pennstatehealth.psu.edu

Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) Clinical Trials Expand answer

NASHFIT

This trial will examine whether diet and exercise can improve nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and the associated increase risk of clotting.

Participants must be:

  • Diagnosed with a severe form of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease known as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis
  • Between the ages of 18-69

View more information on Studyfinder.

Study contact:
Gloriany Rivas, BA, CCRC
Healthcare interpreter (Spanish)
grivas@pennstatehealth.psu.edu
717-531-0003, ext. 320223

Mobile health delivered lifestyle intervention program in patients with NASH

Participants will be given access to the Noom Healthy Weight application for 16 weeks in order to evaluate the app’s impact on weight loss in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) patients.

Participants must:

  • Be diagnosed with a severe form of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease known as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis
  • Be ages 18 and older
  • Own a smartphone

View more information on Studyfinder.

Study contact:
Gloriany Rivas, BA, CCRC
Healthcare interpreter (Spanish)
grivas@pennstatehealth.psu.edu
717-531-0003, ext. 320223

More nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) research studies

Additional studies are under review and will be accepting participants soon. Adults 18 and older with a diagnosis of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) may be eligible.

Please contact the study team to learn more:

Gloriany Rivas, BA, CCRC
Healthcare interpreter (Spanish)
grivas@pennstatehealth.psu.edu
717-531-0003, ext. 320223

Liver Cancer Clinical Trials Expand answer

EXALT

This trial will help better understand how exercise impacts patients with liver cancer in order to identify treatments that can improve outcomes and access to liver transplantation.

Participants must be:

  • Diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a type of liver cancer
  • Between the ages of 18-69

View more information on Studyfinder.

Study contact:
Gloriany Rivas, BA, CCRC
Healthcare interpreter (Spanish)
grivas@pennstatehealth.psu.edu
717-531-0003, ext. 320223

Portal Hypertension Clinical Trials Expand answer

PROC-BLEED

The goal of this study is to obtain more knowledge regarding risk factors for procedural related bleeding in patients with cirrhosis.

Participants must be:

  • Diagnosed with cirrhosis
  • Admitted to a hospital ward or ICU for greater than 24 hours
  • Between the ages of 18-80

Study contact:
Gloriany Rivas, BA, CCRC
Healthcare interpreter (Spanish)
grivas@pennstatehealth.psu.edu
717-531-0003, ext. 320223

PIVOT

This research is being conducted to prevent portal vein thrombosis (PVT) in patients with cirrhosis at risk for PVT by pharmacologic prophylaxis with intravenous antithrombin (AT-III).

Patients must be:

  • Able to provide a cirrhosis diagnosis documented by liver biopsy OR clinical, imaging, and laboratory findings consistent with cirrhosis AND disease process etiologic for cirrhosis
  • Between the ages of 18-75

View more information on Studyfinder.

Study contact:
Gloriany Rivas, BA, CCRC
Healthcare interpreter (Spanish)
grivas@pennstatehealth.psu.edu
717-531-0003, ext. 320223

PVCLD3 Study

This is a prospective cohort study of subjects with portal hypertension to examine whether increased sphingosine 1 phosphate : ceramide ratio and circulating bile acids are associated with HPS in patients with advanced liver disease.

Patients must be:

  • Diagnosed with chronic portal hypertension
  • Able to have a referral for liver transplantation
  • Ages 18 and older

Study contact:
Wes Heinle
jheinle@pennstatehealth.psu.edu
717-531-0003, ext. 321555

Autoimmune Biliary Trials Expand answer

PRIMIS

Led by Dr. Karen Krok
This study is testing an investigational drug called GS-9674 in non-cirrhotic adults with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) to see if it can potentially slow the progression of liver scarring (fibrosis) caused by PSC.

Participants must be:

  • Diagnosed with large duct primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) based on cholangiogram, a special x-ray procedure
  • Able to consent to a liver biopsy at clinical trial screening. This biopsy must show F0-F3 fibrosis in order to participate.

Study contact:
Wes Heinle
jheinle@pennstatehealth.psu.edu
717-531-0003, ext. 321555

ELATIVE

Led by Dr. Karen Krok
A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study and open-label long term extension to evaluate the efficacy and safety of elafibranor 80mg in patients with primary biliary cholangitis with inadequate response or intolerance to ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA).

Participants must be:

  • Ages 18-75 years old
  • Diagnosed with primary biliary cholangitis
  • On ursodeoxycholic acid UDCA for at least 12 months prior to randomization or history of being intolerant to UDCA

Study contact:
Wes Heinle
jheinle@pennstatehealth.psu.edu
717-531-0003, ext. 321555
View more information on Studyfinder.

More autoimmune biliary research studies

More studies are under review and will be accepting participants soon. Adults 18 and older with a diagnosis of primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) may be eligible.

Please contact the study team to learn more:

Wes Heinle
jheinle@pennstatehealth.psu.edu
717-531-0003, ext. 321555

Completed Studies Expand answer

TARGET-HCC

This was a longitudinal, observational study of patients being managed for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in usual clinical practice. TARGET-HCC aimed to create a research registry of participants with HCC within academic and community real-world practices in order to assess the safety and effectiveness of the entire spectrum of current and future therapies across diverse populations.

If you are interested in the results of this study, please reach out to the Stine team:

Phone: 717-531-0003, ext. 320223

Fax: 717-531-6848

Email: StineLaboratory@pennstatehealth.psu.edu

COVID-19 Information

Penn State Health Liver Center has taken several steps to keep research participants safe.

This includes:

  • Conducting research visits remotely (from home) when possible
  • Practicing social distancing and using appropriate personal protective equipment (masks, face shields, gloves) during in-person research visits
  • Screening prior to all in-person research visits, including temperature checks for all employees and participants
  • Sanitation of all research spaces and equipment

Hear from Other Participants

Dr. Stine and his team smile with Bryan Boyer, a clinical trial participant

Dr. Stine and his team smile with Bryan Boyer, a clinical trial participant

“For as much as its [clinical trial participation] helped me so far, I’m sure it’s helping other people.”

Bryan Boyer was a participant in the NASHFit clinical trial with Dr. Stine’s team after he received a diagnosis for stage three nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

Faced with the possibility of cirrhosis and a lifesaving liver transplant, which his sister had required, he decided to participate in NASHFit, a clinical study that aims to improve fatty liver disease using diet and exercise.

Watch Bryan’s story here >