Role of innate immunity in the development of hepatocellular carcinoma

Rajagopal N. Aravalli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common form of liver cancer worldwide. It is caused by a variety of risk factors, most common ones being infection with hepatitis viruses, alcohol, and obesity. HCC often develops in the background of underlying cirrhosis, and even though a number of interventional treatment methods are currently in use, recurrence is fairly common among patients who have had a resection. Therefore, whole liver transplantation remains the most practical treatment option for HCC. Due to the growing incidence of HCC, intense research efforts are being made to understand cellular and molecular mechanisms of the disease so that novel therapeutic strategies can be developed to combat liver cancer. In recent years, it has become clear that innate immunity plays a critical role in the development of a number of liver diseases, including HCC. In particular, the activation of Toll-like receptor signaling results in the generation of immune responses that often results in the production of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines, and could cause acute inflammation in the liver. In this review, the current knowledge on the role of innate immune responses in the development and progression of HCC is examined, and emerging therapeutic strategies based on molecular mechanisms of HCC are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7500-7514
Number of pages15
JournalWorld journal of gastroenterology
Issue number43
StatePublished - 2013


  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Inflammation
  • Innate immunity
  • Liver cancer
  • Toll-like receptor


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