Special Issue "Advances and Research Progress in Hepatocellular Carcinoma"

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A special issue of Cancers (ISSN 2072-6694).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2012)

Special Issue Editor

Managing Editor
Ms. Candy Wan

MDPI Tongzhou Office, Room 2207, Jincheng Center, No. 21 Cuijingbeili, Tongzhou District, Beijing 101101, China
Fax: +86 10 59011089

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This special issue of Cancers discusses the many facets and different perspectives of the recent advances and research progress in hepatocellular Carcinoma. This is timely considering the several improvements in managing this disease starting with curative therapies, local ones, and novel systemic treatments.

Candy Wan
Managing Editor

Keywords

  • hepatocellular carcinoma
  • hepatitis C
  • hepatitis B
  • surgery
  • liver transplant
  • embolization
  • chemoembolization
  • radifrequency ablation
  • radioembolization
  • sorafenib
  • clinical trials

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle The Expression of Embryonic Liver Development Genes in Hepatitis C Induced Cirrhosis and Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Cancers 2012, 4(3), 945-968; doi:10.3390/cancers4030945
Received: 23 July 2012 / Revised: 9 August 2012 / Accepted: 13 September 2012 / Published: 18 September 2012
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (263 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains a difficult disease to study even after a decade of genomic analysis. Patient and disease heterogeneity, differences in statistical methods and multiple testing issues have resulted in a fragmented understanding of the molecular basis of tumor biology. Some [...] Read more.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains a difficult disease to study even after a decade of genomic analysis. Patient and disease heterogeneity, differences in statistical methods and multiple testing issues have resulted in a fragmented understanding of the molecular basis of tumor biology. Some researchers have suggested that HCC appears to share pathways with embryonic development. Therefore we generated targeted hypotheses regarding changes in developmental genes specific to the liver in HCV-cirrhosis and HCV-HCC. We obtained microarray studies from 30 patients with HCV-cirrhosis and 49 patients with HCV-HCC and compared to 12 normal livers. Genes specific to non-liver development have known associations with other cancer types but none were expressed in either adult liver or tumor tissue, while 98 of 179 (55%) genes specific to liver development had differential expression between normal and cirrhotic or HCC samples. We found genes from each developmental stage dysregulated in tumors compared to normal and cirrhotic samples. Although there was no single tumor marker, we identified a set of genes (Bone Morphogenetic Protein inhibitors GPC3, GREM1, FSTL3, and FST) in which at least one gene was over-expressed in 100% of the tumor samples. Only five genes were differentially expressed exclusively in late-stage tumors, indicating that while developmental genes appear to play a profound role in cirrhosis and malignant transformation, they play a limited role in late-stage HCC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances and Research Progress in Hepatocellular Carcinoma)
Open AccessArticle Micronutrient Synergy in the Fight against Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Cancers 2012, 4(2), 323-339; doi:10.3390/cancers4020323
Received: 6 December 2011 / Revised: 14 February 2012 / Accepted: 21 March 2012 / Published: 23 March 2012
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (670 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), once thought to be a rare tumor in North America, has rapidly increased in recent years in the United States. Current treatment modalities to halt the progression of this disease are only marginally effective. The mainstay [...] Read more.
The incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), once thought to be a rare tumor in North America, has rapidly increased in recent years in the United States. Current treatment modalities to halt the progression of this disease are only marginally effective. The mainstay treatment is liver transplantation, which is often confronted with donor shortage. Invasion, metastasis and recurrence contribute to the high mortality rate of this disease. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) that degrade the extracellular matrix (ECM) have been associated with the progression, invasion and metastasis of the disease. We have developed strategies to strengthen the ECM collagen and inhibit MMPs through micronutrients such as lysine, proline and ascorbic acid. Addition of epigallocatechin gallate or green tea extract to these micronutrients synergistically enhanced anti-carcinogenic activity in HepG2 cells. Addition of certain other micronutrients, such as N-acetylcysteine, selenium, copper and zinc (NM) synergistically enhanced the anticancer activity of the mixture in a model of hepatocellular carcinoma using HepG2 cells. In vitro studies using HepG2 demonstrated that NM was very effective in inhibiting cell proliferation (by MTT assay), MMPs secretion (by gelatinase zymography), cell invasion (through Matrigel) and induction of apoptosis (by live green caspase). In addition, NM was shown to down-regulate urokinase plasminogen activator (by fibrin zymography) and up-regulate tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (by reverse zymography) in another HCC cell line, SK-Hep-1. MMP-2 and MMP-9 activities were further modulated by phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) induction and inhibited by NM. In previous studies, NM inhibited Sk-Hep-1 xenografts in nude mice and also inhibited hepatic metastasis of B16FO melanoma cells. Our results suggest that NM is an excellent candidate for therapeutic use in the treatment HCC by inhibiting critical parameters in cancer development and progression, such as proliferation, invasion and metastasis, and by inducing apoptosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances and Research Progress in Hepatocellular Carcinoma)

Review

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Open AccessReview Potentiality and Boundaries of Use of Sorafenib in Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Awaiting the Results of Ongoing Clinical Trials
Cancers 2012, 4(2), 549-565; doi:10.3390/cancers4020549
Received: 8 May 2012 / Revised: 25 May 2012 / Accepted: 30 May 2012 / Published: 5 June 2012
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (163 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
No systemic therapy had been proven effective in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) until 2007, when a large randomized trial with sorafenib demonstrated a clinically relevant prolongation of survival. Currently, sorafenib represents standard treatment for patients with advanced HCC and well-preserved [...] Read more.
No systemic therapy had been proven effective in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) until 2007, when a large randomized trial with sorafenib demonstrated a clinically relevant prolongation of survival. Currently, sorafenib represents standard treatment for patients with advanced HCC and well-preserved liver function, whilst the evidence about its effectiveness in patients with more severe liver impairment is less robust. A randomized trial to demonstrate the efficacy of sorafenib in Child-Pugh B patients with advanced HCC is currently ongoing. In the meantime, several trials are testing the role of sorafenib in early HCC (as adjuvant treatment after potentially curative loco-regional therapies) and in intermediate stage (exploring different modalities of integration of sorafenib with trans-arterial chemo-embolization). The results of all these trials will better define the potentiality and the boundaries of use of sorafenib in HCC patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances and Research Progress in Hepatocellular Carcinoma)
Open AccessReview A New Player in the Development of TRAIL Based Therapies for Hepatocarcinoma Treatment: ATM Kinase
Cancers 2012, 4(2), 354-378; doi:10.3390/cancers4020354
Received: 13 February 2012 / Revised: 15 March 2012 / Accepted: 26 March 2012 / Published: 5 April 2012
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (218 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common cancers worldwide. HCCs are genetically and phenotypically heterogeneous tumors characterized by very poor prognosis, mainly due to the lack, at present, of effective therapeutic options, as these tumors are rarely suitable for radiotherapy [...] Read more.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common cancers worldwide. HCCs are genetically and phenotypically heterogeneous tumors characterized by very poor prognosis, mainly due to the lack, at present, of effective therapeutic options, as these tumors are rarely suitable for radiotherapy and often resistant to chemotherapy protocols. In the last years, agonists targeting the Tumor Necrosis Factor Related Apoptosis Inducing Ligand (TRAIL) death receptor, has been investigated as a valuable promise for cancer therapy, based on their selectivity for malignant cells and low toxicity for healthy cells. However, many cancer models display resistance to death receptor induced apoptosis, pointing to the requirement for the development of combined therapeutic approaches aimed to selectively sensitize cancer cells to TRAIL. Recently, we identified ATM kinase as a novel modulator of the ability of chemotherapeutic agents to enhance TRAIL sensitivity. Here, we review the biological determinants of HCC responsiveness to TRAIL and provide an exhaustive and updated analysis of the molecular mechanisms exploited for combined therapy in this context. The role of ATM kinase as potential novel predictive biomarker for combined therapeutic approaches based on TRAIL and chemotherapeutic drugs will be closely discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances and Research Progress in Hepatocellular Carcinoma)

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