The diagnosis and treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma

Semin Diagn Pathol. 2017 Mar;34(2):153-159. doi: 10.1053/j.semdp.2016.12.011. Epub 2016 Dec 20.


Hepatocellular carcinoma is a leading cancer worldwide. Its incidence is increasing, and is closely related to advanced liver disease. Cirrhosis represents the greatest risk factor for this malignancy, and is the main indication for screening and surveillance. The diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma can frequently, and uniquely, be made on characteristic multiphase contrast based cross-sectional imaging rather than strict need for tissue sampling. Despite advances in medical, locoregional and surgical therapies, hepatocellular carcinoma remains one of the most common causes of cancer-related death globally. In this review, current approaches to management of hepatocellular carcinoma are discussed, which incorporate both tumor and patient factors. The salient considerations in surgical (resection, liver transplantation), locoregional (ablation and embolic therapies) and medical therapies are highlighted.

Keywords: Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer system; Cirrhosis; Diagnosis; Liver transplantation; Locoregional therapy; Resection; Screening; Treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / diagnosis*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / epidemiology
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Liver Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Liver Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Risk Factors