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Molecular Discoveries Shed Light on Liver Cancer -- Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC)
Date:4/26/2008

titis B or C) or from cirrhosis. Obesity is an additional, recently recognized risk factor for HCC. Treatment options of HCC and prognosis are dependent on various factors, but chiefly on tumor size and staging.

Only a minority of hepatocellular carcinomas can be removed completely using surgery, and the tumor tends to recur. Other techniques are available to halt tumor progression, including percutaneous therapies such as radiofrequency ablation.

According to Professor Massimo Levrero, Associate Professor of Medicine at Italy's University of Cagliari, and Head of the Laboratory of Gene Expression, Fondazione Andrea Cesalpino, University of Rome La Sapienza, "Molecular approaches are starting to pay off. The years 2007 and 2008 are the 'years of the drug' for HCC. We now have Sorafenib, the first molecular targeted therapy for HCC that has been proven effective in a large clinical trial of patients with advanced cancers. Other drugs are coming soon. While Sorafenib is an efficient drug, our results need to be improved. We want to increase the cytotoxic potential of our treatments by combining drugs that can theoretically yield a synergistic effect. With recent advances regarding HCC subtypes, we know which patients can be selected for response to particular experimental therapies."

Scientists are continuing their search for the genes that are dysregulated in HCC. It is hoped that by improving our ability to identify aberrant genes, research will lead to the identification of new and more powerful pharmacological interventions for HCC.

About EASL

The European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) aims to promote investigation into liver disease and improve the treatments that currently exist for these conditions. The association, through its annual meetings, seeks to inform and educate both the scientific community as well as society in general about the increasing occurrence of liver diseases along with the importance of un
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SOURCE EASL - European Association for the Study of the Liver
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