The role of psychosocial factors in the progression of hepatocellular carcinoma

J. Steel, M. Carney, B. I. Carr, A. Baum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The number of deaths per year from hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) exceeds 250,000, placing it sixth as the cause of death from cancer worldwide. The primary etiology of most cases of HCC in the US is hepatitis B and/or C. Extensive research has demonstrated that the relationship between hepatitis B infection and the progression to HCC is mediated by the immune system. A substantial, but unrelated literature, describes the relationship between psychosocial factors (e.g., stress, psychiatric morbidity), immune system reactivity, and disease progression in patients with cancer. However, the role of these factors in the progression of HBV-HCC has not been explored. An understanding of the relationship among virology, immunology, and behavior in the development and recurrence of HCC may provide alternative methods for secondary prevention of HCC (e.g., behavioral) until a vaccine and/or pharmacological treatments are developed, feasible, and affordable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-94
Number of pages9
JournalMedical Hypotheses
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Medicine(all)
  • Drug Discovery


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