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Open Access Novel Advances in Understanding of Molecular Pathogenesis of Hepatoblastoma: A Wnt/β-Catenin Perspective

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Hepatoblastoma is the most common pediatric liver malignancy, typically striking children within the first 3 years of their young lives. While advances in chemotherapy and newer surgical techniques have improved survival in patients with localized disease, unfortunately, for the 25% of patients with metastasis, the overall survival remains poor. These tumors, which are thought to arise from hepatic progenitors or hepatoblasts, hence the name hepatoblastoma, can be categorized by histological subtyping based on their level of cell differentiation. Genomic and histological analysis of human tumor samples has shown exon-3 deletions or missense mutations in gene coding for β-catenin, a downstream effector of the Wnt signaling pathway, in up to 90% of hepatoblastoma cases. The current article will review key aberrations in molecular pathways that are implicated in various subtypes of hepatoblastoma with an emphasis on Wnt signaling. It will also discuss cooperation among components of pathways such as β-catenin and Yes-associated protein in cancer development. Understanding the complex network of molecular signaling in oncogenesis will undoubtedly aid in the discovery of new therapeutics to help combat hepatoblastoma.
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Keywords: Liver development; Liver tumor; Pediatric; Wnt signaling; Yap

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Publication date: February 10, 2017

This article was made available online on November 2, 2016 as a Fast Track article with title: "NOVEL ADVANCES IN UNDERSTANDING OF MOLECULAR PATHOGENESIS OF HEPATOBLASTOMA: A WNT/BETA-CATENIN PERSPECTIVE!".

More about this publication?
  • Gene Expression The Journal of Liver Research will publish articles in all aspects of hepatology. Hepatology, as a research discipline, has seen unprecedented growth especially in the cellular and molecular mechanisms of hepatic health and disease, which continues to have a major impact on understanding liver development, stem cells, carcinogenesis, tissue engineering, injury, repair, regeneration, immunology, metabolism, fibrosis, and transplantation. Continued research and improved understanding in these areas will have a meaningful impact on liver disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. The existing journal Gene Expression has expanded its focus to become Gene Expression The Journal of Liver Research to meet this growing demand. In its revised and expanded scope, the journal will publish high-impact original articles, reviews, short but complete articles, and special articles (editorials, commentaries, opinions) on all aspects of hepatology, making it a unique and invaluable resource for readers interested in this field. The expanded team, led by an Editor-in-Chief who is uniquely qualified and a renowned expert, along with a dynamic and functional editorial board, is determined to make this a premier journal in the field of hepatology.

    From Volume 16, Gene Expression The Journal of Liver Research is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND license.

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