State of the Art: Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Luigi Bolondi


Future Oncol. 2014;10(15s):1-6. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common primary liver cancer, mainly occurring in cirrhotic livers (in 80–90% of cases) after years of chronic inflammation.[1,2] The pathogenesis of HCC is a multistep process associated with changes in the host gene expression of multiple redundant negative-growth regulatory pathways that protect cells against transformation. An imbalance between the proliferation and apoptosis of liver cells is thought to promote tumor development.[3] Annually, 3–6% of cirrhotic patients will develop HCC, mainly men with advanced liver disease. Recent trends in the USA show that men are affected three-times more frequently than women, Asians are affected twice as often as blacks and Hispanics, and blacks are affected twice as often as whites.[4] One explanation for the disproportionate effects of HCC in men may be due to the higher estrogen concentrations present in women, which suppress IL-6 production and inhibit chemically induced liver carcinogenesis.[1]