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Liver cancer is one of most deadly cancers worldwide. Hepatocellualr carcinoma (HCC) represents a major histological subtype of liver cancers. As cancer is a genetic disease, genetic lesions play a major role in HCC tumorigenesis and progression. Although significant progress has been made to uncover genetic alterations in HCCs, our understanding of genetics involved in the initiation and progression of HCC is far from complete. Next generation sequencing (NGS) has provided a new paradigm in biomedical research to delineate the genetic basis of human diseases. While identification of cancer somatic mutations has been serendipitous, genome sequencing has provided an unbiased approach to systematically catalog somatic mutations and elucidate the mechanisms of tumourigenesis. A number of recently published NGS studies on HCCs have not only confirmed previously known mutations in CTNNB1 and TP53 in HCC, but also identified novel genetic alterations in HCC including mutations in genes involved in epigenetic regulation. WNT, cell cycle and chromatin remodeling pathways have emerged as key oncogenic drivers in HCCs. The frequently altered genes and pathways in HCC reflect classical cancer hallmarks. These findings have started to depict a genetic landscape in HCC and will facilitate development of novel therapeutics for the treatment of this deadly disease.