Liver cancer is the 6th leading cause of cancer related deaths in the US even though it ranks 14th in incidence. More men are diagnosed with liver cancer than women, and the number of projected deaths among men (20,020) is almost double that among women (10,140) in the US. Infections like hepatitis and metabolic conditions like obesity are believed to be major risk factors for the onset of liver cancer. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common type of liver cancer, accounts for 75% of all cases. Chemotherapy has not been effective in treating HCC. Targeted therapies are being used in advanced HCC patients due to a better survival and less side effects when compared to traditional chemotherapy. Therapeutic agents targeting the regulators of growth factor signaling pathways and the mediators of downstream signaling—for example, inhibitors of the tyrosine kinase receptor—are used as targeted molecular therapies. Kinase inhibitors that modulate growth signals, such as sorafenib and lenvatinib, are commonly employed in targeted molecular therapy for HCC patients. This review covers these agents, highlighting modes of action and providing details on clinical trials.
- Hepatocellular carcinoma
- Targeted molecular therapy