Rare Disease Highlight: Hepatocellular Carcinoma (Liver Cancer)

Hepatocellular Carcinoma is a form of liver cancer associated with various stages of malignant growth in the liver. It is the sixth most common cancer worldwide, but is rare in the United States, only affecting around 60,000 patients.1,2 Hepatocellular carcinoma is considered a deadly cancer, with a survival rate of only 12.2% for five years, and the third major leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide.3,4 While most liver cancers are preventable, the incidence of hepatocellular has been increasing in the United States. This is possibly due to the frequency of common risk factors such as chronic liver disease, viral liver infections such as hepatitis, and liver cirrhosis.3,5 Hepatocellular carcinoma can be treated with standard of care therapies. Unfortunately, many patients with the disease have a high risk of developing resistance creating an unmet need for new treatment options of this serious and life-threatening disease.6

References used
  1. SEER Cancer Stat Facts: Liver and Intrahepatic Bile Duct Cancer. NCI; 2018. https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/livibd.html. Accessed 03/15/2018.
  2. Zhu RX, Seto WK, Lai CL, Yuen MF. Epidemiology of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in the Asia-Pacific Region. Gut Liver. 2016;10(3):332-339.
  3. Momin BR, Pinheiro PS, Carreira H, Li C, Weir HK. Liver cancer survival in the United States by race and stage (2001-2009): Findings from the CONCORD-2 study. Cancer. 2017;123 Suppl 24:5059-5078.
  4. Zhu YJ, Zheng B, Wang HY, Chen L. New knowledge of the mechanisms of sorafenib resistance in liver cancer. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2017;38(5):614-622.
  5. Kamarajah SK. Fibrosis score impacts survival following resection for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC): A Surveillance, End Results and Epidemiology (SEER) database analysis. Asian Journal of Surgery. 2018;1(1)
  6. Pan S, Li Z, He Z, Qiu J, Zhou S. Molecular Mechanisms for Tumor Resistance to Chemotherapy. Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology. 2016;2016(43):723-73

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