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Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) exerts huge effects on the health burden of the world because of its high mortality and poor prognosis. HCC is often clinically detected late in patients. If HCC could be detected and treated earlier, the survival rate of patients will be greatly improved. Therefore, identifying specific biomarkers is urgent and important for HCC. The liver is also recognized as an immune organ. The occurrence of HCC is related to exacerbation of immune tolerance and/or immunosurveillance escape. The host immune system plays an important role in the recognition and targeting of tumor cells in cancer immunotherapy, as can be seen from the clinical success of immune checkpoint inhibitors and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells. Thus, there is a pressing medical need to discover immunodiagnostic biomarkers specific to HCC for understanding the pathological mechanisms of HCC, especially for immunotherapy targets. We have reviewed the existing literature to summarize the immunodiagnostic markers of HCC, including autoantibodies against tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) and exosomes, to provide new insights into HCC and early detection of this deadly cancer.


Mengtao Xing, Xinzhi Wang, Robert A Kiken, Ling He, Jian-Ying Zhang. Immunodiagnostic Biomarkers for Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC): The First Step in Detection and Treatment. International journal of molecular sciences. 2021 Jun 07;22(11)

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PMID: 34200243

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