Human hepatocellular carcinoma is recognized as a good model for multistage carcinogenesis, as the malignant steps from chronic liver disease through to advanced human hepatocellular carcinoma are relatively clear. We address the activation of different molecular pathways during hepatocarcinogenesis that is especially useful in the diagnosis of pathological multistage human hepatocellular carcinoma. In chronic liver disease, the gene-expression signature as well as the degree of liver fibrosis could help us to predict the development of human hepatocellular carcinoma or survival outcome after treatment for human hepatocellular carcinoma. Several genes, such as HSP70, CAP2 and GPC3, have been identified as potential biomarkers for early human hepatocellular carcinoma. Classical oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes, such as beta-catenin and p53, are mutated during the progression from early to advanced human hepatocellular carcinoma. Also, the presence of hepatoblastic feature like CK19 in advanced human hepatocellular carcinoma can be used as a predictor of aggressive human hepatocellular carcinoma. Although many advances have been made in the diagnosis of multistage hepatocarcinogenesis, we still need further useful markers to more precisely evaluate each step of hepatocarcinogenesis for better treatment choices, and that will promote future molecular-targeted therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cancer Research