Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most devastating complication of liver cirrhosis and diagnosis in earlier stages could be useful in curative interventions. The main aim of this review was to analyze current diagnostic biomarkers which are available for the early diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). For this purpose, we searched different web databases including Medline/Pubmed. We found multiple significant serum biomarkers for imperative diagnosis including α- Fetoprotein, Des- γ -carboxyprothrombin (DCP), Osteopontin (OPN), Glypican-3 (GPC3), Golgi protein-73 (GP73), Squamous cell carcinoma antigen (SCCA), Annexin A2 (ANXA2) and Heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) but all of these represent low sensitivity and low specificity. Hepatocellular carcinoma diagnosis have also been reported at the genetic level with the help of associated genes such as p53, RAS, MERTK (MER-Tyrosine Kinase), EGF, TGF-β/IGF, ALDH2, CAT, Glutathione S-transferase (GSTM1), X-ray repair cross-complementing group1 (XRCC1), Receptor tyrosine kinase (ROR1), RASSF1A, SOCS1, NUF2, CXCL2 and Interleukin-1 Gene (IK-1). Inhibition of these cancerous genes is under research and could be a novel therapeutic approach in future. Recently, differential diagnosis with miRNA has been found important for hepatocellular carcinoma. Anti-miR-122 could revolutionize the early diagnosis of HCC and has the potential to be marketed for therapy. However, most of the drugs are under clinical trial phase. It is recommended to use them in conjunction with each other so these could be employed as a way to decrease mortality and stigma associated with hepatocellular carcinoma.

Article History

Received: Dec 23, 2021; Accepted: July 13, 2022; Published: Sep 30, 2022