• National Cancer Institute
  • National Human Genome Research Institute

Liver Hepatocellular CarcinomaRSS

Last Updated: May 14, 2013

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What is liver cancer?

Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common form of liver cancer in the United States, making up more than 80 percent of cases.1 This disease arises in the hepatocytes, the cells that make up most of the liver.1 Worldwide, this cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths, but it is not as common in the United States where it ranks at ninth.2

On a global scale, 78 percent of liver cancer cases are secondary to chronic Hepatitis B or C infections.2 Another risk factor is cirrhosis, a chronic disease where scar tissue replaces liver cells.1 An estimated 28,720 new cases were diagnosed in the Unites States in 2012.1 View additional information on liver cancer.

What types of discoveries about liver cancer do The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) researchers hope to make?

  • Identify molecular biomarkers and disease subgroups, as well as analyze cancer-related genes and pathways
  • Study recurrence after surgical removal of the tumor as well as therapeutic responses
  • Examine patterns of progression and recurrence based on Hepatitis B and C infection, as well as cirrhosis
  • Collaborate with the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) to integrate and compare data with:
    • A project funded by the Institut National du Cancer (INCa), which aims to identify gene mutations and rearrangements related to alcohol and metabolic syndrome in liver cancer
    • Research funded by the National Institute of Biomedical Innovation and Riken, which aims to interpret genomic and epigenomic changes that occur in liver cancer as well as how expression of hepatitis viruses affects liver cancer progression

Where can I find more information about the TCGA Research Network's studies, or studies using TCGA data?

View a list of TCGA scientific publications.

Where can I find clinical trials to treat Liver Hepatocellular Carcinoma that are supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI)?


View a list of NCI-supported liver hepatocellular carcinoma clinical trials that are now accepting patients.


Selected References 

1American Cancer Society: Cancer Facts and Figures 2012. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society, 2012

2Hepatocellular Carcinoma – United States, 2001-2006. (7 May 2010). Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5917a3.htm