Division of Hepatology and HPB Surgery, Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, NC, USA.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the third most common cause of cancer worldwide and is rising in incidence. Ultrasound is the preferred modality for screening high-risk patients for HCC because it detects clinically significant nodules, widespread availability and lower cost. HCC does not require a biopsy for diagnosis if specific imaging criteria are fulfilled. Transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) is the most common modality used to treat HCC followed by ablation. Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is increasing in incidence and the second most common primary malignancy of the liver. There is no effective screening strategy for CCA although magnetic resonance imaging and carbohydrate antigen 19-9 (CA 19-9) are commonly used without proven benefit. Therapy for CCA is challenging and resection, when possible, is the mainstay of therapy. Gemcitabine in combination with cisplatin or biologics may offer a modest survival benefit. Liver transplantation for CCA is associated with reasonable survival in select cases. Molecular diagnostics offer the potential to develop personalized approaches in the management of HCC and CCA.