IMR Press / FBS / Volume 2 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.2741/S51

Frontiers in Bioscience-Scholar (FBS) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 1 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Molecular and functional genetics of hepatocellular carcinoma
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1 Liver Cancer and Hepatitis Research Laboratory, Department of Pathology, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Academic Editor: Mark Feitelson

Front. Biosci. (Schol Ed) 2010, 2(1), 117–134;
Published: 1 January 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liver cancer: etiology, pathogenesis, prevention and treatment)

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the fifth most common cancer and one of the leading causes of cancer death worldwide. Hepatocarcinogenesis is a multistep process developing from normal through chronic hepatitis/cirrhosis and dysplastic nodules to HCC. Although we have insufficient understanding to propose a robust general model, with advances in molecular methods, there is a growing understanding of the molecular mechanisms in the development of HCC. Hepatocarcinogenesis is strongly linked to increases in allelic losses, chromosomal changes, gene mutations, epigenetic alterations, and alterations in molecular cellular pathways. Special emphasis in this review is given to the genetics, epigenetics, and regulation of major signaling pathways involved in HCC such as Wnt/β-catenin, Ras, and PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathways. A detailed understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms involved in the progression of HCC can improve our prevention and diagnostic tools for HCC and be an important potential source of novel molecular targets for new therapies.

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