Published online Jun 28, 2015. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v7.i12.1632
Peer-review started: August 30, 2014
First decision: September 28, 2014
Revised: October 30, 2014
Accepted: May 26, 2015
Article in press: May 27, 2015
Published online: June 28, 2015
Core tip: This review aims to spotlight on the different diagnostic modalities, and treatment options of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Despite lack of adequate sensitivity of ultrasound (US) examination and alpha-fetoprotein, both are still considered the cornerstone for surveillance for HCC. So, a plethora of clinical studies searching for a more ideal tool are running. One of these tools is the microRNAs which can be considered as a promising diagnostic as well as prognostic tool for HCC. This review discusses the diagnostic utility of computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, as well as the enhanced US efficacy in diagnosis of HCC. Management of HCC depends on the tumour stage, liver function reserve, and patient performance status, and requires a multidisciplinary approach for optimal treatment. Liver transplantation and hepatic resection are the only curative options in early stage of disease. In addition, radiofrequency ablation is equivalent to surgical resection in well-selected patients. Radioembolization with use of resin or glass sphere appear promising. Novel molecular therapies are also discussed. For patients with advanced disease, sorafenib is the only approved therapy, but novel targeted agents and their combinations are emerging.