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Clin Liver Dis. 2011 May;15(2):261-79, vii-x. doi: 10.1016/j.cld.2011.03.001.

The role of oncogenic viruses in the pathogenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Medicine D and the Liver Institute, Rabin Medical Center, Beilinson Hospital, Molecular Hepatology Research Laboratory, Felsenstein Medical Research Center, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, 39 Jabotinsky Street, Petah-Tikva 49100, Israel.


HBV and HCV have major roles in hepatocarcinogenesis. More than 500 million people are infected with hepatitis viruses and, therefore, HCC is highly prevalent, especially in those countries endemic for HBV and HCV. Viral and host factors contribute to the development of HCC. The main viral factors include the circulating load of HBV DNA or HCV RNA and specific genotypes. Various mechanisms are involved in the host-viral interactions that lead to HCC development, among which are genetic instability, self-sufficiency in growth signals, insensitivity to antigrowth signals, evasion of apoptosis, limitless replicative potential, sustained angiogenesis, and tissue invasiveness. Prevention of HBV by vaccination, as well as antiviral therapy against HBV and for HCV seem able to inhibit the development of HCC.

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