Genetic Factors, Viral Infection, Other Factors and Liver Cancer: An Update on Current Progress

  • Su, Cheng-Hao (Department of Emergency Countermeasure and Information Management, Xiamen Center for Disease Control and Prevention) ;
  • Lin, Yong (Department of Infectious Disease Control, Xiamen Center for Disease Control and Prevention) ;
  • Cai, Lin (Department of Health Statistics and Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Fujian Medical University)
  • Published : 2013.09.30


Primary liver cancer is one of the most common cancers at the global level, accounting for half of all cancers in some undeveloped countries. This disease tends to occur in livers damaged through alcohol abuse, or chronic infection with hepatitis B and C, on a background of cirrhosis. Various cancer-causing substances are associated with primary liver cancer, including certain pesticides and such chemicals as vinyl chloride and arsenic. The strong association between HBV infection and liver cancer is well documented in epidemiological studies. It is generally acknowledged that the virus is involved through long term chronic infection, frequently associated with cirrhosis, suggesting a nonspecific mechanism triggered by the immune response. Chronic inflammation of liver, continuous cell death, abnormal cell growth, would increase the occurrence rate of genetic alterations and risk of disease. However, the statistics indicated that only about one fifth of HBV carries would develop HCC in lifetime, suggesting that individual variation in genome would also influence the susceptibility of HCC. The goal of this review is to highlight present level of knowledge on the role of viral infection and genetic variation in the development of liver cancer.


Viral infection;genetic variation;liver cancer


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