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J Clin Transl Hepatol. 2016 Jun 28;4(2):123-30. doi: 10.14218/JCTH.2016.00010. Epub 2016 Jun 15.

Nonalcoholic Lipid Accumulation and Hepatocyte Malignant Transformation.

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Research Center of Clinical Medicine and Department of Oncology, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong, Jiangsu, China.
Department of Immunology, Medical School of Nantong University, Nantong, Jiangsu, China.
School of Life Sciences, Nantong University, Nantong, Jiangsu, China.
Department of Medical Informatics, Medical School of Nantong University, Nantong, Jiangsu, China.


Worldwide incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is steadily increasing, highlighting its status as a public health concern, particularly due to its significant association with other comorbidities, such as diabetes. However, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has emerged as a primary risk factor, with its own prevalence increasing in recent years, and it has gradually caught up with the historical primary etiological factors of infection with hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus, exposure to aflatoxin, or alcohol liver disease. The deeply worrisome aspects of all of these high risk factors, however, are their remarkable presence within populations. Systemic and genetic mechanisms involved in the malignant transformation of liver cells, as well as useful biomarkers of early stage HCC are being investigated. However, the exact mechanisms underlying the interrelation of NAFLD and HCC remain largely unknown. In this review, some of the recent advances in our understanding of liver lipid accumulation are summarized and discussed to provide insights into the relationship between NAFLD and hepatocyte malignant transformation.


Hepatocellular carcinoma; Metabolism; Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

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