Date: 06 Aug 2011

Chronic Inflammation and Hepatocellular Carcinoma

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Abstract

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) invariably develops within a setting of chronic inflammation caused by either hepatotropic viruses, toxins, metabolic liver disease or autoimmunity. Mechanisms that link these two processes are not completely understood, but transcription factors of the NF-κB family and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), cytokines such as IL-6 and IL-1α and ligands of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) family are clearly pivotal players. HCC may have its origins in either hepatocytes or hepatic progenitor cells (HPCs), and HCCs, like other solid tumours appear to be sustained by a minority population of cancer stem cells.