Hepatocellular carcinoma: updates in pathogenesis, detection and treatment
Hepatocellular carcinoma
Risk factors
Molecular mechanisms
Liquid biopsy
Early diagnosis
Multikinase inhibitors
Immune checkpoint inhibitors
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Martinez-Chantar, M.L. (María Luz); Avila, M.A. (Matías Antonio); Lu, S.C. (Shelly C.). "Hepatocellular carcinoma: updates in pathogenesis, detection and treatment". Cancers. 12 (10), 2020, 2729
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most frequent primary liver cancer and the second most common cause of cancer mortality worldwide [1]. The prognosis of HCC patients is very poor. The rates of HCC incidence and mortality are almost equivalent [2] and have increased across most countries over the past three decades [3]. HCC development is closely associated with the presence of chronic liver disease and cirrhosis, albeit the risk factors underlying this condition vary geographically. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and aflatoxin B1 exposure are predominant risk factors in Asia and Africa, while hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and alcohol consumption are the main risk factors in Europe, the USA and Japan [3,4,5]. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is currently the most prevalent liver disease worldwide, and approximately 60% of biopsied NAFLD patients have non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) [3]. Importantly, patients with NASH are at high risk of developing HCC even without presenting established cirrhosis [6]. With widespread HBV vaccination and the advent of direct-acting antiviral drugs for HCV infection, NAFLD and associated conditions such as diabetes and obesity are emerging as major global risk factors for HCC. In view of the dismal prognosis of HCC patients, implementing preventive strategies would be an ideal approach to quell the incidence of the disease. Obvious interventions include advocating HBV vaccination in endemic regions, achieving HCV eradication with direct-acting antivirals, promoting healthy nutrition and weight reduction, improving diabetes control, and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption. Still, the implementation of these measures is not always feasible.

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