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Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2004 May;20(3):248-53.

Hepatocellular carcinoma.

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San Juan VA Medical Center, San Juan, Puerto Rico.



This year the number of papers published regarding hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) continued to increase compared with last year, coinciding with an increase in incidence and awareness of this tumor.


Molecular clock studies determined that hepatitis C-related HCC will continue to increase over the next 20 years mimicking the Japanese epidemic. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, the most common chronic liver disease in the US, has been associated with HCC. Obesity has been shown to be an important risk factor for the development of HCC. Glypican-3 was shown to be able to discriminate between cirrhosis and HCC, and therefore has the potential to be a novel tumor marker. Dynamic gadolinium MRI is the preferred imaging of choice for the evaluation of HCC. Liver transplantation continues to be the preferred treatment of HCC. However, in nonsurgical HCC transarterial chemoembolization and radiofrequency ablation have been shown to improve survival.


As the incidence of HCC continues to increase, identifying those at risk for developing this tumor is of paramount importance. Therefore, the findings of obesity as an important risk factor and Glypican-3 as a potential tumor highlight significant advances for the early detection of this tumor so therapies, such as liver transplantation and chemoembolization, can be applied.

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