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Hepatocellular carcinoma also known as hepatoma is considered as the most common type of primary liver malignancy and is the leading cause of death worldwide. The incidence and mortality is still on the rise despite the drastic progress in early screening tools and new advancements in diagnosis and treatment. For the patients presenting with advanced disease, Sorafenib is the only approved drug, however the treatment outcome of metastatic cancer is still unsatisfactory with median overall survival below 15 months. Over the past few years great progress has been achieved in anticancer therapy, but development of resistance and unavoidable side effects have weakened these attainments. Keeping in view this stern condition, a number of drugs with novel antitumor mechanisms are under investigations including antimicrobials which have been shown to possess anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and cytotoxic effects. In this regard, both conventional and novel antimicrobials are being studied to explore their anticancer potential along with underlying mechanisms which may render them as effective anticancer drugs in near future. Moreover, the new approach of drug repurposing is also being encouraged especially in cancers in order to reduce cost and limit adverse effects. The purpose of this review is to provide comprehensive landscape of current information on anti-tumor evidence in support of certain compounds with well-known antimicrobial activities, against HCC based on relevant literature search on different HCC cell lines.
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