Biology of hepatocellular carcinoma

Roberta W C Pang, Jae Won Joh, Philip J. Johnson, Morito Monden, Timothy M. Pawlik, Ronnie T P Poon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a common cancer in the world due to high prevalence of hepatitis B or C virus infection. Research in recent years has uncovered important molecular pathways involved in development and progression of HCC. Several genetic aberrations and molecular mechanisms responsible for initiation of hepatocarcinogenesis have been identified. Novel biomarkers for HCC are being developed for better detection and prognostication. Alpha-fetoprotein, the conventional marker of HCC, has limited sensitivity and specificity. Serum levels of isoforms of AFP based on differential lectin binding of the glycan moiety appear to be more sensitive and specific than total AFP level in early detection of HCC. The clinical usefulness of other HCC biomarkers such as des-γ-carboxy prothrombin and glypican-3 are under investigation. HCC is an aggressive tumor with early vascular invasion and metastasis. Studies over the past two decades have elucidated the clinical predictors of outcome, leading to several staging systems for HCC based on clinical parameters. However, the predictive accuracy of clinical staging systems is limited. Recent studies suggested that biological factors may provide additional prognostic information. In particular, gene expression profiling appears to be a promising approach. Study of tumor angiogenesis in HCC reveals that the expression of angiogenic factors such as vascular endothelial growth factor and angiopoietins may also predict prognosis. The elucidation of tumor biology of HCC is of particular importance in the current era of rapid development of anti-cancer molecular targeting agents, which provide hope for an effective systemic therapy for HCC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)962-971
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of Surgical Oncology
Volume15
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2008

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Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Neoplasms
Biomarkers
Glypicans
Angiopoietins
Angiogenesis Inducing Agents
alpha-Fetoproteins
Biological Factors
Gene Expression Profiling
Virus Diseases
Lectins
Hepatitis B virus
Hepacivirus
Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
Polysaccharides
Blood Vessels
Molecular Biology
Protein Isoforms
Neoplasm Metastasis
Sensitivity and Specificity

Keywords

  • Angiogenesis
  • Biological factors
  • Biomarkers
  • Gene expression
  • Hepatocellular
  • Molecular

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology

Cite this

Pang, R. W. C., Joh, J. W., Johnson, P. J., Monden, M., Pawlik, T. M., & Poon, R. T. P. (2008). Biology of hepatocellular carcinoma. Annals of Surgical Oncology, 15(4), 962-971. https://doi.org/10.1245/s10434-007-9730-z

Biology of hepatocellular carcinoma. / Pang, Roberta W C; Joh, Jae Won; Johnson, Philip J.; Monden, Morito; Pawlik, Timothy M.; Poon, Ronnie T P.

In: Annals of Surgical Oncology, Vol. 15, No. 4, 04.2008, p. 962-971.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Pang, RWC, Joh, JW, Johnson, PJ, Monden, M, Pawlik, TM & Poon, RTP 2008, 'Biology of hepatocellular carcinoma', Annals of Surgical Oncology, vol. 15, no. 4, pp. 962-971. https://doi.org/10.1245/s10434-007-9730-z
Pang RWC, Joh JW, Johnson PJ, Monden M, Pawlik TM, Poon RTP. Biology of hepatocellular carcinoma. Annals of Surgical Oncology. 2008 Apr;15(4):962-971. https://doi.org/10.1245/s10434-007-9730-z
Pang, Roberta W C ; Joh, Jae Won ; Johnson, Philip J. ; Monden, Morito ; Pawlik, Timothy M. ; Poon, Ronnie T P. / Biology of hepatocellular carcinoma. In: Annals of Surgical Oncology. 2008 ; Vol. 15, No. 4. pp. 962-971.
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