Department of Gastroenterology, Gifu University Graduate School of Medicine, 1-1 Yanagido, Gifu, 501-1194, Japan, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Obesity and related metabolic abnormalities, including a state of chronic inflammation, increase the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Adipose tissue constitutively expresses the proinflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6), which are important tumor promoters in inflammation-related carcinogenesis. Dysregulation of TNF-α and IL-6 is associated with the development of steatosis and inflammation within the liver. These cytokines also lie at the core of the association between obesity and insulin resistance, which is a key factor in the development of obesity-related HCC. Here we present a detailed review of the relationship between metabolic abnormalities and the development of HCC, focusing on the role played by inflammation. Drawing from our basic and clinical research, the present report also reviews evidence that targeting metabolic abnormalities, such as attenuation of chronic inflammation and improvement of insulin resistance by either pharmaceutical or nutritional intervention, may be an effective strategy in preventing the development of HCC in obese individuals.