• biomarkers;
  • hepatocellular carcinoma;
  • mass spectrometry;
  • proteomics


Primary liver cancer is the fifth most frequent neoplasm and the third most common cause of cancer-related death, with more than 500 000 new cases diagnosed yearly. The outcome for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients still remains dismal, partly because of our limited knowledge of its molecular pathogenesis and the difficulty in detecting the disease at its early stages. Therefore, studies aimed at the definition of the mechanisms associated with HCC progression and the identification of new biomarkers leading to early diagnosis and more effective therapeutic interventions are urgently needed. Proteomics is a rapidly expanding discipline that is expected to change the way in which diseases will be diagnosed, treated, and monitored in the near future. In the last few years, HCC has been extensively investigated using different proteomic approaches on HCC cell lines, animal models, and human tumor tissues. In this review, state-of-the-art technology on proteomics is overviewed, and recent advances in liver cancer proteomics and their clinical projections are discussed.