Despite major advancements in the clinical management of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the natural history of this disease is characterized by an invariably poor prognosis. However, there are significant interindividual variations in the biologic behavior of this tumor and this combined with the confounding effect of liver function on patient survival makes prognostic prediction particularly difficult. Several studies have attempted to investigate the prognostic role of tissue biomarkers to better understand the molecular basis of HCC progression. These studies have looked at several aspects of cancer biology including proliferative potential, invasive capacity, and angiogenic promotion utilizing different methodologies. The aim of this review is to summarize the role of tissue biomarkers in the prognostic prediction of HCC and to outline questions and strategies in the prognostic assessment of HCC.
*Division of Experimental Medicine, Imperial College London, London, UK
†Department of Translational Medicine, Universitá degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale “A. Avogadro,” Novara, Italy
D.J.P. is funded by De Agostini Foundation for PhD studies.
The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
Reprints: Rohini Sharma, FRACP, PhD, Division of Experimental Medicine, Imperial College London, Hammersmith Hospital Campus, Du Cane Road, London W12 0HS, UK (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).