Hepatocellular carcinoma

A. M. Di Bisceglie, V. K. Rustgi, J. H. Hoofnagle, G. M. Dusheiko, M. T. Lotze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

456 Scopus citations

Abstract

Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most frequent cancer worldwide, responsible for approximately 1,000,000 deaths annually, most of them in the Far East and in sub-Saharan Africa. It usually presents at an advanced stage and has a poor prognosis. There is strong evidence of an etiologic role for hepatitis B virus infection in the etiology of hepatocellular carcinoma. Carriers of the virus are 94 times more at risk for hepatocellular carcinoma than noncarriers. In many cases hepatitis B virus DNA is integrated within the cellular genome of the tumor. Programs have been established to detect hepatocellular carcinoma at an early stage; persons at high risk are regularly screened by measurement of serum alpha-fetoprotein levels and ultrasound examination of the liver. Surgical resection offers the only hope of cure at present, as chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and immunotherapy have not shown promise. Ideally, surgery should be done on small asymptomatic tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)390-401
Number of pages12
JournalAnnals of internal medicine
Volume108
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine

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