Among the known causes for the occurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), chemical carcinogens, chronic alcoholic intake and hepatitis B virus (HBV), especially in Asia, has been emphasized. HBV has been industriously studied and many queries about the relationship between HBV infection and hepatocarcinogenesis have been clarified. Recent descovery of hepatitis C virus (HCV) revealed that there may be the participation of this virus in hepatocarcinogenesis. However, a precise mechanism in such a viral infection has not been known. Host immunological defence mechanisms including the role of cytokines should be also taken into consideration. Cellular gene abnormalities have been noted in the late period of cancer cell progression. The technical development in the clinically available diagnostic procedures have enabled us to detect early phase of HCC. Some new concepts in the pathological diagnosis of precancerous lesions of HCC and also early HCC have been reported recently. We gave an outline of the recent advances and references in the study of HCC.
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