Molecular biology of hepatocellular carcinoma and hepatitis B virus association.
The involvement of the hepatitis B virus in the pathogenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma was initially suggested on the basis of epidemiological studies. In recent years several kinds of experimental evidence have supported this hypothesis; however, the role played by hepatitis B virus in hepatocarcinogenesis still needs to be elucidated. Several groups of researchers are presently involved in establishing whether hepatitis B virus makes a specific genetic contribution to carcinogenesis or predisposes to neoplastic transformation by causing chronic inflammation and cell regeneration. A comprehensive examination of the data available in the literature suggests that the two hypotheses may not be mutually exclusive.
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