Published online Oct 7, 2015. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v21.i37.10584
Peer-review started: March 27, 2015
First decision: April 24, 2015
Revised: May 8, 2015
Accepted: September 2, 2015
Article in press: September 2, 2015
Published online: October 7, 2015
Core tip: Despite the large number of studies dedicated to the molecular diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), highly sensitive biomarkers of the initiation and progression of HCC still need to be identified. At the same time, the development of novel molecular targeting agents that can surpass the effect of the multikinase inhibitor sorafenib is much-anticipated. This review aimed to update our knowledge of genetic and epigenetic aspects of HCC by providing an overview of novel HCC-related genes and microRNAs as candidates for use as diagnostic and therapeutic targets in HCC.