Liver cancer is the second most frequent cause of cancer death in men and the sixth leading cause of cancer death in women. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) represents the major subtype in liver cancer and its five-year survival rate remains very poor. Sorafenib, a molecular targeted therapeutic agent, was the first drug approved for the treatment of patients with HCC. However, the clinical response of sorafenib was seriously limited by drug resistance. Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved mechanism among all eukaryotes. Recently, many studies have indicated that autophagy can be activated as a cellular protective mechanism in many tumour cells. Thus, we hypothesized that autophagy may play an important role in hepatocellular carcinoma’s resistance to sorafenib. Although the exact role of autophagy in the sorafenib resistance of HCC is still complex and further studies are needed to be proven, at least it suggests that autophagy may be a new therapeutic target for the sorafenib resistance of HCC.
18 Feb, 2014
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