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Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in the world, is offering a challenge to human beings, with the current modes of treatment being a palliative approach. Lack of proper curative or preventive treatment methods encouraged extensive research around the world with an aim to detect a vaccine or therapeutic target biomolecule that could lead to development of a drug or vaccine against HCC. Biomarkers or biological disease markers have emerged as a potential tool as drug/vaccine targets, as they can accurately diagnose, predict, and even prevent the diseases. Biomarker expression in tissue, serum, plasma, or urine can detect tumor in very early stages of its development and monitor the cancer progression and also the effect of therapeutic interventions. Biomarker discoveries are driven by advanced techniques, such as proteomics, transcriptomics, whole genome sequencing, micro- and micro-RNA arrays, and translational clinics. In this review, an overview of the potential of tissue- and serum-associated HCC biomarkers as diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic targets for drug development is presented. In addition, we highlight recently developed micro-RNA, long noncoding RNA biomarkers, and single-nucleotide changes, which may be used independently or as complementary biomarkers. These active investigations going on around the world aimed at conquering HCC might show a bright light in the near future.
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