Get access

Molecular Pathogenesis of Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Authors

  • Helena Cornellà,

    1. From the HCC Translational Research Laboratory, Barcelona-Clinic Liver Cancer Group (BCLC Group), Institut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques Agust Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), Liver Unit, CIBERehd. Hospital Clinic, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Clara Alsinet,

    1. From the HCC Translational Research Laboratory, Barcelona-Clinic Liver Cancer Group (BCLC Group), Institut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques Agust Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), Liver Unit, CIBERehd. Hospital Clinic, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Augusto Villanueva

    1. From the HCC Translational Research Laboratory, Barcelona-Clinic Liver Cancer Group (BCLC Group), Institut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques Agust Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), Liver Unit, CIBERehd. Hospital Clinic, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.
    Search for more papers by this author

Reprint requests: Augusto Villanueva, MD, HCC Translational Laboratory, BCLC Group, Liver Unit, Hospital Clínic, CIBERehd, IDIBAPS, Villarroel, 170, 08036 Barcelona, Spain; Tel.: +34932279155; Fax: +34932275792; E-mail: augusto.villanueva@ciberehd.org

Abstract

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the major causes of death among cirrhotic patients, being viral hepatitis and alcohol abuse, the main risk factors for its development. The introduction of highly sophisticated genomic technologies has spurred extensive research on the molecular pathogenesis of this devastating disease. Several signaling cascades have been consistently found dysregulated in HCC (e.g., WNT-β-catenin, PI3K/AKT/MTOR, RAS/MAPK, IGF, HGF/MET, VEGF, EGFR, and PDGF). In addition, there have been numerous molecular classifications proposed for this disease, what provides an additional hint about its genomic complexity. The importance of knowing the molecular drivers of HCC is underscored by the positive results of a molecular targeted agent, sorafenib, able to improve survival in patients with advanced disease. This review will briefly outline key concepts in alcohol-related hepatocarcinogenesis, and provide some insight regarding current trends in translating HCC genomics into clinical management of the disease.

Ancillary