Published online Sep 21, 2018. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v24.i35.3974
Peer-review started: June 12, 2018
First decision: July 6, 2018
Revised: July 29, 2018
Accepted: August 1, 2018
Article in press: August 1, 2018
Published online: September 21, 2018
Core tip: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a heterogeneous disease with various underlying etiologies and an overall still poor prognosis. Biomarkers to identify optimal treatment for distinct patients are still lacking for HCC due to limited availability of biopsies. Novel treatment options, esp. immune checkpoint inhibitors, may need novel biomarker approaches and non-tissue based technologies might provide a solution to identify those biomarkers. In this article, the current status of biomarker identification for HCC is discussed.