Division of Liver Diseases, Tisch Cancer Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common primary liver tumor and the third greatest cause of cancer-related death worldwide, and its incidence is increasing. Despite the significant improvement in management of HCC over the past 30 years, there are no effective chemoprevention strategies, and only one systemic therapy has been approved for patients with advanced tumors. This drug, sorafenib, acts on tumor cells and the stroma. HCC develops from chronically damaged tissue that contains large amounts of inflammation and fibrosis, which also promote tumor progression and resistance to therapy. Increasing our understanding of how stromal components interact with cancer cells and the signaling pathways involved could help identify new therapeutic and chemopreventive targets.