Hepatocellular Carcinoma Biology

  • Boris Blechacz
  • Lopa Mishra
Part of the Recent Results in Cancer Research book series (RECENTCANCER, volume 190)


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common primary hepatic malignancy. Its incidence and prevalence is globally heterogeneous with the highest rates in Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. In Western Industry nations, its incidence has significantly increased throughout the previous three decades. Its global heterogeneity is in part a reflection of the global distribution of its risk factors. Its prognosis is dismal with a 5-year survival of 11 %. The only potentially curative treatment is surgical with either resection or orthotopic liver transplantation. However, the majority of HCC patients are diagnosed at an advanced stage at which surgical therapies are not feasible. HCC is considered chemotherapy-resistant—a characteristic thought to be mediated in part through stem-like tumor initiating cells (STICs). Recent studies have provided significant insights in the hepatocarcinogenesis and the molecular signaling pathways of this malignancy resulting in the development of novel, molecular targeted therapies with modest therapeutic benefit. Our growing understanding of the biology of this malignancy will help in the development of novel, molecular-targeted therapies.


Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Hepatic Progenitor Cell Hepatic Adenomatosis Receptor Kinase Pathway 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and NutritionThe University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA

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