Liver regeneration and tumour stimulation: implications of the renin-angiotensin system

Liver Int. 2010 Nov;30(10):1414-26. doi: 10.1111/j.1478-3231.2010.02306.x.


Liver resection is the most effective treatment for primary liver tumours and metastasis to the liver, and remains the only potentially long-term curative therapy for patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) liver metastases. Nevertheless, there is a significant incidence of tumour recurrence following liver resection. Cellular and molecular changes resulting from resection and the subsequent liver regeneration process may influence the kinetics of tumour growth, contributing to recurrence. Although commonly associated with the systemic homeostasis of blood pressure, fluid and electrolyte, the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) has recently been shown to play a role in regulating cell proliferation, apoptosis and angiogenesis in local organs as well as in malignancies. An electronic search of the English literature on the role of the RAS in liver regeneration and tumourigenesis was performed using PubMed, with additional relevant articles sourced from reference lists. Studies have shown that the blockade of the RAS pathway stimulates liver regeneration and inhibits tumour progression. An understanding of the role of RAS in liver regeneration and tumourigenesis may enable alternative strategies to improve patient outcome and survival after liver resection. This review will discuss the role of the RAS in liver regeneration and in tumour recurrence post-liver resection. The potential of the RAS as a novel therapeutic target for CRC liver metastases patients undergoing liver resection will be outlined.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensin II Type 1 Receptor Blockers / therapeutic use
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cell Proliferation* / drug effects
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Hepatectomy / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver / surgery*
  • Liver Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Liver Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology
  • Liver Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Liver Regeneration* / drug effects
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / etiology*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / metabolism
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / prevention & control
  • Renin-Angiotensin System* / drug effects
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Angiotensin II Type 1 Receptor Blockers
  • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Antineoplastic Agents