Published online May 28, 2014. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i20.6236
Revised: December 14, 2013
Accepted: January 14, 2014
Published online: May 28, 2014
Core tip: A high viral load is associated with an elevated risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and the risk remains increased in hepatitis B surface antigen-negative hepatitis B virus (HBV) and occult infections. The ability of HBV to integrate into the infected host’s hepatocyte genome is one of the most important direct pro-oncogenic properties. The recent development of efficient tools for genome-wide analysis of gene expression and genetic defects has allowed a comprehensive overview of the changes occurring with HCC. Specific HBV features, including the integration of viral DNA into host chromosomes, may trigger increased genetic instability.