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Primary liver cancer is a major health problem being the sixth most frequent cancer in the world and the fourth most frequent cause of cancer-related death in the world. The most common histological type of liver cancer is hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC, 75-80%). Based on primary literature, this review provides an updated analysis of studies of genetic characterization of HCC at the level of gene mutation profiling, copy number alterations and gene expression, with definition of molecular subgroups and identification of some molecular biomarkers and therapeutic targets. A detailed and comprehensive study of the genetic abnormalities characterizing different HCC subsets represents a fundamental tool for a better understanding of the disease heterogeneity and for the identification of subgroups of patients responding or resistant to targeted treatments and for the discovery of new therapeutic targets. It is expected that a comprehensive characterization of these tumors may provide a fundamental contribution to improve the survival of a subset of HCC patients. Immunotherapy represents a new fundamental strategy for the treatment of HCC.


Ugo Testa, Elvira Pelosi, Germana Castelli. Clinical value of identifying genes that inhibit hepatocellular carcinomas. Expert review of molecular diagnostics. 2022 Nov;22(11):1009-1035

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PMID: 36459631

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