Biomarkers for hepatocellular cancer

World J Hepatol. 2020 Sep 27;12(9):558-573. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v12.i9.558.


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. If diagnosed early, curative treatment options such as surgical resection, loco-regional therapies, and liver transplantation are available to patients, increasing their chances of survival and improving their quality of life. Unfortunately, most patients are diagnosed with late stage HCC where only palliative treatment is available. Therefore, biomarkers which could detect HCC early with a high degree of sensitivity and specificity, may play a crucial role in the diagnosis and management of the disease. This review will aim to provide an overview of the different biomarkers of HCC comprising those used in the diagnosis of HCC in at risk populations, as well as others with potential for prognosis, risk predisposition and prediction of response to therapeutic intervention.

Keywords: Algorithm; Biomarkers; Cancer; Diagnosis; Genetic; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Liquid biopsy.; Liver cancer; Micro-RNA; Plasma; Prognosis; Review; Scoring models; Serum; miRNA.

Publication types

  • Review