1. Histological criteria for effectiveness of chemo- and radio-therapy for gastrointestinal tumors
  2. Study of premalignant and in-situ carcinoma for Bile-duct and pancreas group
  3. Histopathological study towardsselection of treatment modalitiesand outcome prediction in head and neck cancer
  4. Studies by Breast Group
  5. Hepatocarcinogenesis using experimental liver cancer models
  6. Pathological studies for gynecological malignancies
  7. Diagnostic and etiologic studies for lung cancers
  8. Clinicopathological studies with aids of chromosome analysis for genitourinary cancers
  9. Pathological and molecular studies for bone and soft tissue tumors
  10. Pathological and molecular studies for hematological neoplasms

Hepatocarcinogenesis using experimental liver cancer models

Liver Group

Members: Drs. T. Kitagawa, H. Kanda

Mechanisms of liver carcinogenesis by experimental models

Liver cancers are one of the common malignant tumors in Japanese population and its mortality was the third place in males and the fifth in females according to 1995 cancer statistics. Recent advances in imaging technology result in finding small liver carcinomas and premalignant lesions. Although histological examination is necessary for final diagnosis of liver cancer, the biopsy materials tend to become smaller to reduce patients' risk. Subsequently, new methods for diagnosis suitable for small materials, particularly molecular-biological methods, are necessary. Meanwhile, since new treatment methods, such as ethanol injection therapy, become available, it has become increasingly difficult to obtain fresh materials of liver tumors for carcinogenesis research.

Japan has a long research history of experimental carcinogenesis using animal models and in the liver carcinogenesis area we have valuable accumulation of knowledge as well. In our department, we aim at exploring mechanisms of liver carcinogenesis by analyzing liver cancers induced in animals, particularly mice and rats, and applying the findings to human carcinogenesis. Furthermore, our final goal is to develop novel genetic methods using only a small amount of clinical materials of human liver cancers.

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