The incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is 750,000 new cases globally, it is the second leading cause of cancer-related death and represents a major health problem. When identified at early stages, curative treatments such as resection, transplantation and percutaneous ablation are feasible. Surveillance programs established in developed countries allow for early detection in 50% of cases. Candidates for entering surveillance are mostly cirrhotic patients that account for 1% of the human population. Around half of the nodules identified in the setting of these programs are ultimately malignant. In fact, small
There is a huge potential economic impact of establishing a treatment for hepatic fibrosis. Progressive fibrosis of the liver often results in organ failure leading to death or the need for transplantation. These diseases affect hundreds of millions in the United States and worldwide. With steady advances in the understanding of hepatic fibrosis, the medical and patient communities are now anxiously awaiting progress in its treatment.
Imatinib has inhibitory activity across a number of related receptor tyrosine kinases, including beta-PDGF receptor, a key mediator of stellate cell activation in hepatic fibrosis.