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Anticancer Drugs. 2004 Apr;15(4):405-9.

Successful treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma with the tyrosine kinase inhibitor imatinib in a patient with liver cirrhosis.

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Center of Internal Medicine, Department of Gastroenterology and Endocrinology, University of Göttingen, Germany.


Several mechanisms of development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in patients with liver cirrhosis have been discussed. One hypothesis suggests that the somatic stem cells of the liver, the so-called oval cells, may undergo malignant transformation. Oval cells are derived from the biliary cells of the canal of Hering and are characterized by c-kit-positivity, the transmembrane receptor of stem cell factor. Constitutively activated tyrosine kinases have been identified as major pathogenetic mechanisms in the development of malignant diseases like gastrointestinal stromal tumors (c-kit) and chronic myelogenous leukemia (bcr-abl). The prognosis of these diseases improved enormously since the drug imatinib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor of c-kit and bcr-abl, was introduced. Here we report the successful cure of a patient with liver cancer by this tyrosine kinase inhibitor.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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