Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) has emerged to play a central role in the control of the host inflammatory and immune response. Several reports have documented that MIF can inactivate the tumor suppresser activity of p53; overexpression of MIF was significantly higher in both the sera and the local lesions from patients with HCC than from patients with normal controls. These findings indicate that MIF may contribute to multiple aspects of tumor progression and neoplasia, thus MIF may be an effective therapeutic target molecule. We speculate that MIF is important for the development and progression of hepatocellular carcinoma, and can be used as a marker for tumor detection. Copyright � 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.