Current status and future prospects of biomarkers in the diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has one of the highest death rates of any cancer in the world, and its incidence is increasing worldwide. Early-stage diagnosis of HCC is thus crucial for medical treatment. Detection of tumor biomarkers is one of the main methods for the early diagnosis of HCC. At present, α-fetoprotein (AFP) is the most practical serum biomarker for HCC diagnosis. However, the diagnostic accuracy of HCC with serum AFP exhibits both sensitivity and specificity far below satisfaction, especially with small sizes of HCC. As a result, the discovery of new biomarkers and/or their combination to enhance both the sensitivity and specificity for laboratory diagnosis of HCC is a crucial goal. With the development of new technology and advances in research, a number of new and specific biomarkers of HCC have been discovered. These biomarkers and their applications for the diagnosis, treatment monitoring and prognosis prediction of HCC, are reviewed in this article.

Int J Biol Markers 2017; 32(4): e361 - e369

Article Type: REVIEW



Yunsheng Zhao, Qin Gao, Liu Pei, Chunhua Wang, Liang Jin, Fei Liao

Article History


Financial support: This work was supported by the Science and Technology Project of Qinhuangdao, China (201602A108).
Conflict of interest: None of the authors has any financial interest related to this study to disclose.

This article is available as full text PDF.

  • If you are a Subscriber, please log in now.

  • Article price: Eur 36,00
  • You will be granted access to the article for 72 hours and you will be able to download any format (PDF or ePUB). The article will be available in your login area under "My PayPerView". You will need to register a new account (unless you already own an account with this journal), and you will be guided through our online shop. Online purchases are paid by Credit Card through PayPal.
  • If you are not a Subscriber you may:
  • Subscribe to this journal
  • Unlimited access to all our archives, 24 hour a day, every day of the week.



  • Department of Clinical Laboratory, First Hospital of Qinhuangdao, Qinhuangdao - PR China
  • Department of Clinical Laboratory, People’s Hospital of Funing, Qinhuangdao - PR China
  • College of Laboratory Medicine, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing - PR China

Article usage statistics

The blue line displays unique views in the time frame indicated.
The yellow line displays unique downloads.
Views and downloads are counted only once per session.

No supplementary material is available for this article.