Molecular pathways implicated in resistance to treatment of hepatitis B virus associated hepatocellular carcinoma
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most prevalent and deadly cancers worldwide and HBV infection is a leading etiology for HCC in many parts of the world. Current therapies for advanced HCC are disappointing and therefore new drugs, based on fundamental understanding of etiology-specific molecular pathways implicated in HCC pathogenesis, are urgently needed. In recent years, our lab has focused on dissecting molecular pathways implicated in HBV-associated HCC. Specifically, we have recognized distinct molecular pathways activated by HBV and that might be implicated in its relative resistance to treatment with the multi-kinase inhibitor sorafenib (the current standard of care for advanced disease). Our findings were summarized in a recently published paper (Witt-Kehati D et al, Transl Oncol. 2018). Based on our initial findings, we now plan to further investigate the HBV-HCC link in order to open new avenues towards developing innovative and more efficient drugs to treat patients with liver cancer in general, and HBV-associated HCC in particular.