Diagnostic performance of blood-based liquid biopsies in hepatocellular carcinoma: A protocol for systematic review and meta-analysis

Medicine (Baltimore). 2020 Oct 9;99(41):e22594. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000022594.


Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is an aggressive cancer associated with poor prognosis. Early diagnosis is crucial to improve its prognosis. Blood-based liquid biopsies are promising methods in detecting HCC. However, their accuracies have not been systematically assessed, so it is essential to conduct a meta-analysis to evaluate the diagnostic performance of blood-based liquid biopsies in detecting HCC.

Methods: We will search PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, Medline, China National Knowledge Infrastructure(CNKI) for the relevant studies that assessed the diagnostic performance of blood-based liquid biopsies including circulating tumor cells(CTCs), circulating tumor DNA(ctDNA), and exosomes(EVs) in HCC patients from inception to September 2020. Two researchers will independently extract the data and use Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies-2 (QUADAS-2) to evaluate the quality of included literature. We will also conduct the pool diagnostic value, heterogeneity across studies and reporting bias. All the statistical analysis will be conducted by Stata V.15.0 and Meta-disc V.1.4.

Results: This review will evaluate the pooled diagnostic value of blood-based liquid biopsies in HCC.

Conclusion: This review will summarize the current published evidence of blood-based liquid biopsies in diagnosing HCC, which may provide a great opportunity for promotion and application of them.

Open science framework(osf) registration number: September 3, 2020. https://osf.io/9n4yz.

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Liquid Biopsy*
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Research Design*
  • Systematic Reviews as Topic