Hepatocellular carcinoma: Molecular pathways and new therapeutic targets

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244 Scopus citations


Hepatocellular carcinoma is often diagnosed at an advanced stage, when it is not amenable to curative therapies. There is no effective chemotherapy. Advances in cancer biology suggest that a limited number of pathways are responsible for initiating and maintaining dysregulated cell proliferation, which is the major cellular alteration responsible for the cancer phenotype. New treatments in development target several of these critical pathways, including agents targeting the receptor tyrosine kinase pathways, the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway, the ubiquitin/proteasome degradation pathway, the epigenetic DNA methylation and histone deacetylation pathways, the PI3 kinase/AKT/mTOR pathway, angiogenic pathways, and telomerase. Several of these approaches hold significant promise for improving the long-term outcome of patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. Because of the high prevalence of liver cirrhosis in hepatocellular carcinoma patients, these approaches must be coupled with new strategies for halting or reversing the progression of chronic liver disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-225
Number of pages14
JournalSeminars in liver disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2005


  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Liver carcinogenesis
  • Targeted therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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