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A Journal on Internal Medicine

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Minerva Medica 2001 October;92(5):341-8

language: Italian

New therapeutic options in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma

Martinotti R., Evangelista W., Goss M., Angelini F., Satolli M. A.


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the fourth cause of death for cancer, the first in northern Africa and is the eighth tumor for incidence in the world. Risk factors are: liver cirrhosis, HBV, HCV and natural toxins (i.e. aflatoxin). A screening program is feasible and based on serum alpha-fetoprotein dosage and periodic liver ultrasonography. Instrumental diagnosis is based on ultrasonography associated with angiography or spiral TC associated with systemic portography. The best therapy of HCC is based on a multimodal approach: surgery when feasible, associated with or in alternative to intratumoral ethanol injection (PEI), transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE), chemotherapy and radiotherapy. These different therapeutical approaches are related to the liver extent of the disease and liver functioning. Poor results obtained with chemotherapy led to research different therapeutical approaches as hormonal substances, immune modulators or genetic modulators. Most patients present with advanced disease, and their survival rate decreases with the increase of liver cirrhosis concomitant with HCC. Better results should be obtained with the use of different therapeutical approaches as angiogenetic inhibitors, today only for experimental use at present.

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