Clinical Journal of Gastroenterology

, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 185–197 | Cite as

Chemoprevention against hepatocellular carcinoma

  • Jun-ichi Okano
  • Yuki Fujise
  • Ryo Abe
  • Ryu Imamoto
  • Yoshikazu Murawaki
Clinical Review


Since the majority of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) arises from a background of chronic liver diseases caused by infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV), chemoprevention targeting patients at high risk of HCC is feasible. In this review article, we summarize current knowledge of chemoprevention against HCC mostly using phytochemicals which have less toxicity than pharmaceutical agents. We describe in vivo and in vitro evidence and proposed mechanisms of beneficial effects of several compounds on the liver, including acyclic retinoid (ACR), angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs), caffeine, capsaicin, cepharanthine (CEP), cinnamaldehyde, curcumin, diallyl sulfide (DAS), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), genistein, lycopene, resveratrol, silymarin, sulforaphane (SFN), and xanthohumol (XN). Because antihepatocarcinogenic effects by these compounds are mostly based on experimental studies, clinical evidence is urgently necessary.


Hepatocellular carcinoma Chemoprevention Phytochemicals 



Activator protein 1


Acyclic retinoid




Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor


Antioxidant responsive element


Basic fibroblast growth factor


Branched-chain amino acids






Diallyl sulfide




Eicosapentaenoic acid




Extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2


Familial adenomatous polyposis


Fatty acid synthase


Glutathione S-transferase


Glycogen synthase kinase


Heat shock protein


Hepatitis B virus


Hepatitis C virus


Hepatocellular carcinoma


3-Hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl coenzyme A reductase


Insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor




c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase


Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1


Matrix metalloproteinase


Mitogen-activated protein kinase


Mammalian target of rapamycin


Molecular targeted therapy


Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis


NF-E2-related factor 2


Nitric oxide synthase




Nuclear factor-kappaB


Percutaneous ethanol injection


Phosphatase and tensin homolog


Platelet-derived growth factor


Polyunsaturated fatty acid


Protein induced by vitamin K absence or antagonist


Radiofrequency ablation


Renin–angiotensin system




Signal transducer and activator of transcription


Telomerase reverse transcriptase




Tumor necrosis factor


Transarterial chemoembolization


Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand


Vascular endothelial growth factor




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Copyright information

© Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jun-ichi Okano
    • 1
  • Yuki Fujise
    • 1
  • Ryo Abe
    • 1
  • Ryu Imamoto
    • 1
  • Yoshikazu Murawaki
    • 1
  1. 1.Second Department of Internal MedicineTottori University School of MedicineYonagoJapan

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