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Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC)

The advent of systemic therapies, encompassing targeted therapies and immunotherapies, has profoundly transformed the therapeutics landscape for advanced-stage hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Our company, leveraging our profound expertise in therapy development and animal model generation, offers an integrated pipeline for HCC research to cater to the needs of global pharmaceutical companies.

Overview of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC)

Definition of HCC

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), also referred to as liver cancer, represents the most prevalent form of primary liver cancer. The incidence rates of HCC are reported to be 14.1 cases per 100,000 in men and 5.2 cases per 100,000 in women. This malignancy originates from hepatocytes, the primary functional cells of the liver. HCC typically emerges in the context of chronic liver diseases, such as viral hepatitis, alcoholic liver disease, or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Pathogenesis of HCC

Multiple molecular pathways contribute to the development and progression of HCC, including dysregulation of growth factors, activation of oncogenes, inactivation of tumor suppressor genes, and alterations in cell signaling pathways. These molecular aberrations drive uncontrolled cell proliferation, angiogenesis, invasion, and metastasis, ultimately leading to the formation of HCC.

Biomarkers of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC)

Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), a glycoprotein produced by fetal liver cells, has long been used as a serum biomarker for HCC. However, its sensitivity and specificity are limited, particularly in early-stage disease. Emerging biomarkers, such as des-gamma-carboxy prothrombin (DCP), glypican-3 (GPC3), and osteopontin (OPN), show promise in enhancing the diagnostic accuracy of HCC.

Fig.1 Identification of tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) markers.Fig.1 Identification of tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) markers. (Xing, Mengtao, et al., 2021)

Therapy Development of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC)

  • Gene Therapy
    One strategy involves the delivery of tumor suppressor genes, such as p53 or p16, utilizing viral or non-viral vectors. These genes can restore normal cellular function and induce apoptosis specifically in HCC cells. Another approach utilizes RNA interference (RNAi) to silence oncogenes or key signaling pathways implicated in HCC progression. These innovative techniques offer great potential for targeted and effective HCC therapy development.
    • Immunotherapy
      Checkpoint inhibitors, such as anti-programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) and anti-cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4 (CTLA-4) antibodies, have shown remarkable efficacy in a subset of HCC. Other immunotherapy strategies being explored for HCC include tumor vaccines, adoptive cell therapy, and combination therapies that target multiple immune checkpoints or combine immunotherapy with other therapeutic modalities.
Fig.2 An overview of therapeutic techniques for HCC.Fig.2 An overview of therapeutic techniques for HCC. (Chakraborty Eesha, et al., 2022)

Our Services

Through our specialized HCC diagnostics and therapy development services, we provide an integrated platform for accelerated drug discovery and translational research. Our dedication to scientific excellence, state-of-the-art technologies, and personalized therapy sets us apart as a leader in the field.

Therapy Development Platforms

Animal Models of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC)

Animal models provide valuable insights into tumor biology, therapeutic response, and drug resistance. At our company, we offer comprehensive animal model development services, as well as preclinical testing services.

Induced Animal Models
Our company offers state-of-the-art services to induce HCC in animal models, replicating the genetic and molecular alterations observed in humans. The introduction of viral genes, such as those from hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV), into our induced animal models allows for the study of the mechanisms underlying HBV- or HCV-related HCC.
Optional Methods Diet, DEN, CCl4, AFB1, and 2-AAF
Allograft Animal Models
By utilizing allograft models, we can investigate the role of immune cells, cytokines, and immune checkpoints in HCC progression and response to treatment. Our expertise in allograft model development ensures the generation of reliable models that adequately reflect the heterogeneity and complexity of HCC.
Optional Cells BNL-MEA, Hepa1-6, BNL, and H22 cells
Xenograft Animal Models
Xenograft models provide a valuable platform for testing the efficacy of novel therapeutic agents, including targeted therapies and immunotherapies. By using xenograft models, we can assess tumor growth, invasiveness, and therapeutic responses in a human tumor microenvironment context.
Optional Cells Huh7, HCCLM3, PLC5, HepG2, and Hep3B-hCG cells
Genetically Engineered Models
Through the introduction of specific oncogenes or the inactivation of tumor suppressor genes, we can precisely mimic the molecular characteristics of HCC. Techniques such as CRISPR/Cas9, Cre-LoxP recombination, microRNA delivery, and tetracycline-controlled systems enable us to achieve precise gene editing and liver-specific mutations, enhancing the relevance of our models to human HCC.
Optional Models Viral transgenic, Conditional transgenic, and MicroRNA transgenic
Optional Species Mouse, Rat, Rabbit, Woodchuck, Swine, Others

In addition, our company offers a range of model development services to cater to diverse research needs. If you are interested in our services, please feel free to contact us for more details and quotation information of related services.


  • Xing, Mengtao, et al. "Immunodiagnostic biomarkers for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC): the first step in detection and treatment." International Journal of Molecular Sciences 22.11 (2021): 6139.
  • Chakraborty, Eesha, and Devanand Sarkar. "Emerging therapies for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)." Cancers 14.11 (2022): 2798.

All of our services and products are intended for preclinical research use only and cannot be used to diagnose, treat or manage patients.

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