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Semin Oncol. 2006 Dec;33(6 Suppl 11):S79-83.

Hepatocellular carcinoma: molecular biology and therapy.

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  • 1Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10021, USA.


Advanced and metastatic hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC) are challenging to treat, and no cytotoxic agents have impacted survival. The underlying liver cirrhosis that commonly accompanies HCC provides an additional challenge; indeed, functional scoring of cirrhosis and HCC is a critical component of patient evaluation. Currently, the molecular biology and pathogenesis of HCC are being increasingly investigated, which may lead to better understanding of the evolution of the disease, especially differing etiologies and identification of survival genes that may affect outcome. Early studies of targeted therapies in HCC have shown disease stabilization, and an increased understanding of the mechanism(s) of these novel agents combined with correlative studies may lead to the identification of an active agent or combination of agents that impacts the natural history of HCC.

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