Emerging drugs for hepatocellular carcinoma

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

39 Scopus citations


Hepatocellular carcinoma is often diagnosed at an advanced stage, when potentially curative surgical or local ablative therapies are not feasible. There is no effective chemotherapy for hepatocellular carcinoma. Recent advances in cancer biology suggest that a limited number of signalling pathways may be responsible for uncontrolled cell proliferation, the major cellular alteration responsible for the cancer phenotype. Novel anticancer agents target these critical pathways, including the receptor tyrosine kinase pathways, the Wnt/β-catenin signalling pathway, the ubiquitin/proteasome degradation pathway, the DNA methylation and histone deacetylation pathways, the PI3 kinase/AKT/mTOR pathway, angiogenic pathways, telomerase and the cell cycle. These agents hold promise for improving the outcome of patients with intermediate and advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. Because of the high prevalence of liver cirrhosis in hepatocellular carcinoma patients, to achieve long-term survival of the majority of patients, targeted anticancer therapies will need to be coupled with strategies aimed at reversing the progression of chronic liver disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)469-487
Number of pages19
JournalExpert Opinion on Emerging Drugs
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2006


  • Cancer signalling pathways
  • Chemotherapy
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Targeted therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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