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J Clin Med . 2020 May 20

Liquid Biopsies in Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Are We Winning?

Tudor Mocan, André L Simão, Rui E Castro, Cecília M P Rodrigues, Artur Słomka, Bingduo Wang, Christian Strassburg, Aliona Wöhler, Arnulf G Willms, Miroslaw Kornek

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) represents the sixth most common cancer worldwide and the third most common cause of cancer-related death. One of the major problems faced by researchers and clinicians in this area is the lack of reliable disease biomarkers, which would allow for an earlier diagnosis, follow-up or prediction of treatment response, among others. In this regard, the "HCC circulome", defined as the pool of circulating molecules in the bloodstream derived from the primary tumor, represents an appealing target, the so called liquid biopsy. Such molecules encompass circulating tumor proteins, circulating tumor cells (CTCs), extracellular vesicles (EVs), tumor-educated platelets (TEPs), and circulating tumor nucleic acids, namely circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) and circulating tumor RNA (ctRNA). In this article, we summarize recent findings highlighting the promising role of liquid biopsies as novel potential biomarkers in HCC, emphasizing on its clinical performance.

PMID: 32443747