Research Center of Clinical Medicine, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong, 226001, Jiangsu Province, China.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common and rapidly fatal malignancies worldwide with a multifactorial, multistep, complex process and poor prognosis. Its early diagnosis and metastasis monitoring are of the utmost importance. Hepatoma tissues synthesize various tumor-related proteins, genes, enzymes, microRNA, etc. and then secrete into the blood. Detections of circulating biomarkers are useful to find tumor at an early stage or monitor metastasis after postoperative treatment. This paper summarizes recent studies of specific biomarkers at early diagnosis or in monitoring metastasis or postoperative recurrence of HCC.