Scientists Discover New Transmission Mechanism (Exosome-Mediated) of Sorafenib Resistance Among Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells; A Circular RNA (circRNA-SORE) Increases Sorafenib Resistance & Silencing of circRNA-SORE Overcomes This Resistance in Models

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common primary liver tumor with an increasing global incidence. In 2018, HCC was the sixth most frequently diagnosed cancer and the fourth-leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Sorafenib is the first FDA-approved targeted therapy for advanced HCC. A previous study showed that sorafenib prolonged the median overall survival (OS) by 2.3−3 months in advanced HCC patients that did not qualify for liver transplantation or resection. However, sorafenib resistance in HCC is usually observed within 6 months of treatment, thereby making the follow-up therapy rather formidable. Recently, a research team led by Professor Xiujun Cai (photo) (, PhD, from Sir Run-Run Shaw Hospital affiliated with the Zhejiang University School of Medicine has made breakthroughs in sorafenib resistance. Dr. Cai is the President of Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital of Zhejiang University and the Director of both the Institute of Minimally Invasive Surgery of Zhejiang University and the Key Lab of Surgery of Zhejiang Province. The new findings were published online on December 26, 2020 in Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy. The open-access article is titled “CircRNA-SORE Mediates Sorafenib Resistance in Hepatocellular Carcinoma by Stabilizing YBX1” ( The experiment results elucidate the crucial role of circRNA-SORE (a circular RNA upregulated in sorafenib-resistant HCC cells) in sorafenib resistance and its functioning mechanism.
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