Research Topic

Recent Advances in the Understanding of Hepatocellular Carcinogenesis

About this Research Topic

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common cancer of the liver and the third most cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. The 5-year survival of HCC is less than 20%, making HCC the second most lethal malignancy; the first being pancreatic cancer. HCC usually occurs in patients with chronic liver disease in association with a variety of risk factors, including chronic liver infection with hepatitis B virus or hepatitis C virus; excessive consumption of alcohol; overeating, obesity, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; other metabolic liver diseases including Wilson’s disease, hemochromatosis, and alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency; and environmental toxins such as aflatoxins. Tobacco use and human immunodeficiency virus infection also increases the risk of HCC. The heterogeneity of HCC associated with different etiologies affects tumor initiation, development and progression, thus limiting the identification of consistent or routinely occurring genetic abnormalities characteristic of this malignancy. Nevertheless, sustained inflammation, hepatocyte regeneration, and apoptosis occurring in chronic liver disease results in fibrosis and ultimately cirrhosis, favoring genetic and epigenetic modifications that lead to the formation of dysplastic nodules and eventually oncogenesis. Identification of novel diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for HCC is an unmet need in this current era.

The aim of this Research Topic is to provide insights on novel aspects of HCC diagnosis, prognostication, and therapy with an emphasis on recent and up-to-date findings from the scientific literature. Genetic and molecular signatures arising from HCC in association with specific etiologies, and implications for cancer screening and surveillance will be discussed. As indicated sub-topics listed below, Original articles, Reviews and Mini-Review articles will address all areas of HCC relevant not only to basic and clinical researchers but also to practitioners in various fields of medicine:

1) Epidemiology of Hepatocellular carcinoma
2) Risk factors for hepatocellular carcinoma
3) Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Hepatocellular Carcinoma
4) Animal models for studying hepatocellular carcinoma
5) Hepatocellular Carcinoma Oncogenes
6) Tumor suppressors and Novel regulators of Hepatocellular Carcinoma
7) MicroRNA and Hepatocellular Carcinoma
8) Circulating biomarkers of Hepatocellular Carcinoma


Keywords: Hepatocellular Carcinoma


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common cancer of the liver and the third most cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. The 5-year survival of HCC is less than 20%, making HCC the second most lethal malignancy; the first being pancreatic cancer. HCC usually occurs in patients with chronic liver disease in association with a variety of risk factors, including chronic liver infection with hepatitis B virus or hepatitis C virus; excessive consumption of alcohol; overeating, obesity, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; other metabolic liver diseases including Wilson’s disease, hemochromatosis, and alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency; and environmental toxins such as aflatoxins. Tobacco use and human immunodeficiency virus infection also increases the risk of HCC. The heterogeneity of HCC associated with different etiologies affects tumor initiation, development and progression, thus limiting the identification of consistent or routinely occurring genetic abnormalities characteristic of this malignancy. Nevertheless, sustained inflammation, hepatocyte regeneration, and apoptosis occurring in chronic liver disease results in fibrosis and ultimately cirrhosis, favoring genetic and epigenetic modifications that lead to the formation of dysplastic nodules and eventually oncogenesis. Identification of novel diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for HCC is an unmet need in this current era.

The aim of this Research Topic is to provide insights on novel aspects of HCC diagnosis, prognostication, and therapy with an emphasis on recent and up-to-date findings from the scientific literature. Genetic and molecular signatures arising from HCC in association with specific etiologies, and implications for cancer screening and surveillance will be discussed. As indicated sub-topics listed below, Original articles, Reviews and Mini-Review articles will address all areas of HCC relevant not only to basic and clinical researchers but also to practitioners in various fields of medicine:

1) Epidemiology of Hepatocellular carcinoma
2) Risk factors for hepatocellular carcinoma
3) Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Hepatocellular Carcinoma
4) Animal models for studying hepatocellular carcinoma
5) Hepatocellular Carcinoma Oncogenes
6) Tumor suppressors and Novel regulators of Hepatocellular Carcinoma
7) MicroRNA and Hepatocellular Carcinoma
8) Circulating biomarkers of Hepatocellular Carcinoma


Keywords: Hepatocellular Carcinoma


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

01 September 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

01 September 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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