Many potential systemic therapies are being investigated for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The incidence of this malignancy is rising sharply and the vast majority of patients present at advanced stages. Although the earlier dismal results with cytotoxic chemotherapies made way for the development of locoregional therapies that provided improved overall survival, truly personalized therapy will require the selection of phenotypically similar stages of disease and populations, an understanding of the complex molecular and genetic pathways leading to HCC, and a keen understanding of the pathobiology of cirrhosis. Only then will we understand how to offer a particular patient at a specific stage of disease the appropriate therapy to truly prolong survival.
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