Department of Biochemistry, University of Allahabad, Allahabad 211002, India
Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common malignant tumours in the world. It is a heterogeneous group of a tumour that vary in risk factor and genetic and epigenetic alteration event. Mortality due to HCC in last fifteen years has increased. Multiple factors including viruses, chemicals, and inborn and acquired metabolic diseases are responsible for its development. HCC is closely associated with hepatitis B virus, and at least in some regions of the world with hepatitis C virus. Liver injury caused by viral factor affects many cellular processes such as cell signalling, apoptosis, transcription, DNA repair which in turn induce important effects on cell survival, growth, transformation and maintenance. Molecular mechanisms of hepatocellular carcinogenesis may vary depending on different factors and this is probably why a large set of mechanisms have been associated with these tumours. Various biomarkers including α-fetoprotein, des-γ-carboxyprothrombin, glypican-3, golgi protein-73, squamous cell carcinoma antigen, circulating miRNAs and altered DNA methylation pattern have shown diagnostic significance. This review article covers up key molecular pathway alterations, biomarkers for diagnosis of HCC, anti-HCC drugs and relevance of key molecule/pathway/receptor as a drug target.
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