Peptides have acquired increasing interest as promising therapeutics, particularly as anticancer
alternatives during recent years. They have been reported to demonstrate incredible anticancer
potentials due to their low manufacturing cost, ease of synthesis and great specificity and selectivity.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is among the leading cause of cancer death globally, and
the effectiveness of current liver treatment has turned out to be a critical issue in treating the disease
efficiently. Hence, new interventions are being explored for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma.
Anticancer peptides (ACPs) were first identified as part of the innate immune system of living
organisms, demonstrating promising activity against infectious diseases. Differentiated beyond the
traditional effort on endogenous human peptides, the discovery of peptide drugs has evolved to rely
more on isolation from other natural sources or through the medicinal chemistry approach. Up to the
present time, the pharmaceutical industry intends to conduct more clinical trials for the development
of peptides as alternative therapy since peptides possess numerous advantages such as high selectivity
and efficacy against cancers over normal tissues, as well as a broad spectrum of anticancer activity.
In this review, we present an overview of the literature concerning peptide’s physicochemical
properties and describe the contemporary status of several anticancer peptides currently engaged in
clinical trials for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma.
Keywords: Hepatocellular carcinoma, liver cancer, anticancer peptides, clinical trials, drug resistance, therapeutic peptides.
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