Epidemiology and Management of Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Gastroenterology. 2019 Jan;156(2):477-491.e1. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2018.08.065. Epub 2018 Oct 24.


The major risk factors for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in contemporary clinical practice are becoming increasingly related to sustained virological response after hepatitis C, suppressed hepatitis B virus during treatment, and alcoholic and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. We review the emerging data on the risk and determinants of HCC in these conditions and the implications of HCC surveillance. However, from a public health perspective, active hepatitis C and B continue to drive most of the global burden of HCC. In United States, the age-adjusted incidence rates of HCC in Hispanics have surpassed those of HCC in Asians. Prognosis in HCC is complex because of the competing risk imposed by underlying cirrhosis and presence of malignancy. In addition to tumor burden, liver function and performance status; additional parameters including tumor biopsy, serum markers, and subclassification of current staging systems; and taking into account patterns of tumor progression may improve patient selection for therapy. Advancements in the treatment of HCC have included identification of patients who are most likely to derive a clinically significant benefit from the available therapeutic options. Additionally, the combination strategies of locoregional therapies and/or systemic therapy are being investigated.

Keywords: Epidemiology; Hepatitis C; Hepatocellular Carcinoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / epidemiology*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / therapy*
  • Female
  • Hepatitis, Viral, Human / pathology
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Liver Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Liver Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / pathology
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology