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Critical Reviews™ in Eukaryotic Gene Expression
IF: 1.734 5-Year IF: 1.848 SJR: 0.627 SNIP: 0.516 CiteScore™: 1.96

ISSN Print: 1045-4403
ISSN Online: 2162-6502

Critical Reviews™ in Eukaryotic Gene Expression

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevEukaryotGeneExpr.2017021006
pages 373-385

Diverse Signaling Pathways and Current Status of Molecular Targeted Treatments for Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Bushra Akhtar
Institute of Pharmacy, Physiology, and Pharmacology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan
Faqir Muhammad
Institute of Pharmacy, Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan
Ali Sharif
Faculty of Pharmacy, The University of Lahore, Lahore, Pakistan
Muhammad Furqan Akhtar
Faculty of Pharmacy, Government College University, Faisalabad, Pakistan
Wafa Majeed
Institute of Pharmacy, Physiology, and Pharmacology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan

ABSTRACT

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the leading causes of death associated with cancer. Various molecular mechanisms are involved in HCC development. Alterations in these molecular mechanisms include chromosomal instability, gene mutations, and variations in protein expressions. A number of cell signaling pathways that are associated with the occurrence of apoptosis, cell proliferation, and angiogenesis provide new prospects for the development of HCC treatments. Newly designed, potential therapeutic regimens target specific receptors, kinases, and vital proteins. Sorafenib is the only FDA-approved drug for HCC treatment, and it has been found that the complex genomic aberrations in HCC can be overcome using combination therapy. For example, therapeutic benefits have been gained using sorafenib with doxorubicin, oxaliplatin, cisplatin, and monoclonal antibodies. In addition, elumetinib, carbozantinib, and refametinib may be effective when used in combination with sorafenib. Drugs that target several signaling pathways have shown promising results in phase 3 clinical trials, and clinical studies using these drugs have changed the management strategy for HCC, particularly with the use of combination therapeutic regimens. Such research has improved the current standards of care and influenced clinical decision making.