Introduction: Globally, the incidence, as well as mortality, related to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is on the rise, owing to relatively few curative options. Underlying cirrhosis is the most common etiology leading to HCC, but risk factors of cirrhosis show great regional variability. Over the years, there has been a steady development in the diagnostic and therapeutic modalities of HCC, including the availability of a wide range of systemic chemotherapeutic agents. We aim to review the recent advancements in the diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for HCC.
Methodology: The literature search was done using databases PubMed, Cochrane, and Science Direct, and the latest relevant articles were reviewed.
Findings: Screening of HCC is a pivotal step in the early diagnosis of the disease. Current guidelines recommend using ultrasound and alfa fetoprotein but various new biomarkers are under active research that might aid in diagnosing very small tumors, not picked up by the current screening methods. Treatment options are decided based upon the overall performance of the patient and the extent of the disease, as per the Barcelona classification. There are very few options that offer a cure for the disease, ranging from liver resection and transplantation to tumor ablation. Downstaging has proven to have a significant role in the course of the disease. An attempt to control the disease can be made via radiological interventions, such as transarterial chemoembolization, transarterial radioembolization, or radiation therapy. For advanced disease, sorafenib used to be the only option until a couple of years ago. Recently, many other systemic agents have received approval as first-line and second-line therapies for HCC. Genomics is an area of active clinical research as understanding the mutations and genomics involved in the evolution of HCC might lead to a breakthrough therapy.
Euroasian Journal of Hepato-gastroenterology
(2021). Updates on the diagnosis and management of hepatocellular carcinoma. Euroasian Journal of Hepato-gastroenterology, 11(1), 32-40.
Available at: https://ecommons.aku.edu/pakistan_fhs_mc_med_gastroenterol/300
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