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Viruses  2010 

Hepatitis B and C Viruses and Hepatocellular Carcinoma

DOI: 10.3390/v2081504

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Chronic liver disease is responsible for over 1.4 million deaths annually ?[1] and is characterized by permanent inflammatory processes that predispose to liver cancer and in particular hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In healthy liver, inflammatory processes stimulate growth and repair and restore normal liver architecture. However, if liver inflammation becomes chronic, the balance of damage versus regeneration in the liver is disrupted and can lead to the formation of excessive scar tissue, termed fibrosis. In the long-term, an exacerbation of fibrosis will lead to cirrhosis, which is characterized by abnormal liver architecture and function and is associated with a significant reduction in overall health and wellbeing. At cirrhotic stages, liver damage is often irreversible or difficult to treat. Cirrhosis leads frequently to death from liver failure or to HCC (Figure 1). Indeed, HCC is the first cause of death in cirrhotic patients?[2], and is a tumor with poor prognosis, ranking third in terms of death by cancer. Furthermore, it is the fifth most prevalent cancer worldwide, with 800,000 new cases per year in the world?[2,3]. [...]


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