The Role of Oncogenic Viruses in the Pathogenesis of Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Romy Zemel, Assaf Issachar, Ran Tur-Kaspa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


HBV and HCV have major roles in hepatocarcinogenesis. More than 500 million people are infected with hepatitis viruses and, therefore, HCC is highly prevalent, especially in those countries endemic for HBV and HCV. Viral and host factors contribute to the development of HCC. The main viral factors include the circulating load of HBV DNA or HCV RNA and specific genotypes. Various mechanisms are involved in the host-viral interactions that lead to HCC development, among which are genetic instability, self-sufficiency in growth signals, insensitivity to antigrowth signals, evasion of apoptosis, limitless replicative potential, sustained angiogenesis, and tissue invasiveness. Prevention of HBV by vaccination, as well as antiviral therapy against HBV and for HCV seem able to inhibit the development of HCC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-279
Number of pages19
JournalClinics in Liver Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Cirrhosis
  • Hepatitis b virus (HBV)
  • Hepatitis c (HCV)
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)


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