Division of Molecular Genetics & Biochemistry, Institute of Cytology & Preventive Oncology (ICMR), I-7, Sector 39, Noida, 201301, India, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most lethal and prevalent cancers in many developing countries including India. Among the various etiological factors being implicated in the cause of HCC, the most important cause, however, is hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Among all HBV genes, HBx is the most critical carcinogenic component, the molecular mechanisms of which have not been completely elucidated. Despite its clinical significance, there exists a very elemental understanding of the molecular, cellular, and environmental mechanisms that drive disease pathogenesis in HCC infected with HBV. Furthermore, there are only limited therapeutic options, the clinical benefits of which are insignificant. Therefore, the quest for novel and effective therapeutic regimen against HBV-related HCC is of paramount importance. This review attempts to epitomize the current state of knowledge of this most common and dreaded liver neoplasm, highlighting the putative treatment avenues and therapeutic research strategies that need to be implemented with immediate effect for tackling HBV-related HCC that has plagued the medical and scientific fraternity for decades. Additionally, this review proposes a novel "five-point" management algorithm for HBV-related HCC apart from portraying the unmet needs, principal challenges, and scientific perspectives that are relevant to controlling this accelerating global health crisis.