35. Primary Malignant Neoplasms of the Liver

  1. James S. Dooley MD, FRCP2,3,
  2. Anna S. F. Lok MBBS, MD, FRCP4,
  3. Andrew K. Burroughs FRCP, FMedSci3,5 and
  4. E. Jenny Heathcote MB BS, MD, FRCP, FRCP(C)6,7
  1. Morris Sherman MB BCh, PhD, FRCP(C)

Published Online: 5 MAY 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444341294.ch35

Sherlock's Diseases of the Liver and Biliary System, 12th Edition

Sherlock's Diseases of the Liver and Biliary System, 12th Edition

How to Cite

Sherman, M. (2011) Primary Malignant Neoplasms of the Liver, in Sherlock's Diseases of the Liver and Biliary System, 12th Edition (eds J. S. Dooley, A. S. F. Lok, A. K. Burroughs and E. J. Heathcote), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444341294.ch35

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Centre for Hepatology, University College London Medical School, UK

  2. 3

    Royal Free Sheila Sherlock Liver Centre, Royal Free Hospital, London, UK

  3. 4

    Division of Gastroenterology, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

  4. 5

    University College London, London, UK

  5. 6

    Division of Gastroenterology, University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  6. 7

    Patient Based Clinical Research, Toronto Western Hospital Research Institute, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Author Information

  1. University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 5 MAY 2011
  2. Published Print: 25 APR 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405134897

Online ISBN: 9781444341294



  • chemoembolization;
  • cholangiocarcinoma;
  • radiofrequency ablation;
  • cancer screening;
  • dysplasia


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) used to be a disease that was relatively uncommon in Western Europe and North America, and was considered an Asian or African disease. Today, HCC has become common in regions in which it was previously considered unusual. The increasing incidence of HCC in many countries has prompted a search for methods for early detection and better treatment of HCC. Despite a lack of understanding of the pathogenetic mechanisms that lead to transformation of a hepatocyte to HCC, there have been remarkable advances in early detection and treatment of small lesions discovered through surveillance. This in turn has led to the identification of several distinct, putative preneoplastic lesions. Treatment of larger lesions remains unsatisfactory in most cases. However, the advances in detection and treatment of smaller lesions means that HCC has gone from a largely untreatable disease to one that can, if diagnosed early, be cured with appreciable frequency. In addition, prevention of HCC through prevention and treatment of the underlying liver diseases has the potential to further reduce the mortality from HCC. This chapter also covers intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, another liver cancer which is increasing in incidence. Finally, other malignant tumours of the liver are briefly discussed.