Cancer Cell 2016 Dec;30(6):879-890
Division of Liver Diseases, Department of Medicine, Liver Cancer Program, Tisch Cancer Institute, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY 10029, USA. Electronic address:
Cirrhosis is a milieu that develops hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the second most lethal cancer worldwide. HCC prediction and prevention in cirrhosis are key unmet medical needs. Here we have established an HCC risk gene signature applicable to all major HCC etiologies: hepatitis B/C, alcohol, and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. A transcriptome meta-analysis of >500 human cirrhotics revealed global regulatory gene modules driving HCC risk and the lysophosphatidic acid pathway as a central chemoprevention target. Pharmacological inhibition of the pathway in vivo reduced tumors and reversed the gene signature, which was verified in organotypic ex vivo culture of patient-derived fibrotic liver tissues. These results demonstrate the utility of clinical organ transcriptome to enable a strategy, namely, reverse-engineering precision cancer prevention.