Published online Nov 7, 2016. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v22.i41.9069
Peer-review started: August 19, 2016
First decision: September 6, 2016
Revised: September 20, 2016
Accepted: October 19, 2016
Article in press: October 19, 2016
Published online: November 7, 2016
Core tip: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide. The poor survival rate is mainly due to late diagnosis of HCC. Elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying hepatocarcinogenesis is critical for making early diagnoses of and developing targeted therapies for HCC. Recent studies on HCC using deep sequencing have provided increasing lines of evidence indicating that genetic alterations play important roles in the initiation and progression of HCC, which are summarized in this article. We also attempt to elucidate some of the genetic mechanisms underlying HCC, which may help in making early diagnoses of and developing molecularly targeted therapies for this disease.