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HOME > J Liver Cancer > Volume 16(2); 2016 > Article
Review Article Obesity and Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Won Sohn1,2
Journal of Liver Cancer 2016;16(2):86-91
Published online: September 30, 2016
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1Department of Internal Medicine, Bundang Jesaeng Hospital, Seongnam, Korea
2Liver Center, Bundang Jesaeng Hospital, Seongnam, Korea
Corresponding author:  Won Sohn,

Obesity is closely associated with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) as well as other malignancies. Obesity is an important risk factor for cancer development and overall mortality in HCC. Molecular mechanisms of hepatocarcinogenesis in obesity are adipose tissue remodeling, dysregulation of adipokines, increased reactive oxygen species, insulin resistance or hyperinsulinemia, alteration of gut microbiota, and dysregulation of microRNA. Obesity is the most common cause of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) or non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). NAFLD or NASH leads to HCC as well as liver cirrhosis. Hepatitis C virus regulates lipid homeostasis in liver. Obesity and its’ related factors (metabolic syndrome and diabetes mellitus) are significantly related to the risk of HCC development in chronic hepatitis C. However, it is not clear whether obesity is a risk factor for HCC in chronic hepatitis B. The relationship between obesity and HCC seems to be different according to etiology of background liver disease. Further studies are needed to clarify the effect of obesity on HCC in different etiologies of chronic liver disease.

JLC : Journal of Liver Cancer