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World J Gastroenterol. 2001 Aug;7(4):445-54.

Hepatocellular carcinoma--cause, treatment and metastasis.

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Liver Cancer Institute of Fudan University, 136 Yixueyuan Road, Zhongshan Hospital, Shanghai 200032, China.


In the recent decades, the incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has been found to be increasing in males in some countries. In China, HCC ranked second of cancer mortality since 1990s. Hepatitis B and C viruses (HBV and HCV) and dietary aflatoxin intake remain the major causative factors of HCC. Surgery plays a major role in the treatment of HCC, particularly for small HCC. Down-staging unresectable huge HCC to smaller HCC and followed by resection will probably be a new approach for further study. Liver transplantation is indicated for small HCC, however, some issues remain to be solved. Different modes of regional cancer therapy for HCC have been tried. Systemic chemotherapy has been disappointing in the past but the future can be promising. Biotherapy, such as cytokines, differentiation inducers, anti-angiogenic agents, gene therapy and tumor vaccine will probably play a role, particularly in the prevention of tumor recurrence. HCC invasiveness is currently the major target of study. Tremendous works have been done at the molecular level, which will provide clues for biomarker of HCC progression as well as targets for intervention.

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