BACKGROUND:Because imaging has a high sensitivity to diagnose hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and tissue biopsies carry risks such as bleeding, the latter are often not performed in HCC. Blood-derived circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) analysis can identify somatic alterations, but its utility has not been characterized in HCC. MATERIALS AND METHODS:We evaluated 14 patients with advanced HCC (digital ctDNA sequencing [68 genes]). Mutant relative to wild-type allele fraction was calculated. RESULTS:All patients (100%) had somatic alterations (median = 3 alterations/patient [range, 1-8]); median mutant allele fraction, 0.29% (range, 0.1%-37.77%). Mutations were identified in several genes: TP53 (57% of patients), CTNNB1 (29%), PTEN (7%), CDKN2A (7%), ARID1A (7%), and MET (7%); amplifications, in CDK6 (14%), EGFR (14%), MYC (14%), BRAF (7%), RAF1 (7%), FGFR1 (7%), CCNE1 (7%), PIK3CA (7%), and ERBB2/HER2 (7%). Eleven patients (79%) had ≥1 theoretically actionable alteration. No two patients had identical genomic portfolios, suggesting the need for customized treatment. A patient with a CDKN2A-inactivating and a CTNNB1-activating mutation received matched treatment: palbociclib (CDK4/6 inhibitor) and celecoxib (COX-2/Wnt inhibitor); des-gamma-carboxy prothrombin level decreased by 84% at 2 months (1,410 to 242 ng/mL [normal: ≤7.4 ng/mL]; alpha fetoprotein [AFP] low at baseline). A patient with a PTEN-inactivating and a MET-activating mutation (an effect suggested by in silico molecular dynamic simulations) received sirolimus (mechanistic target of rapamycin inhibitor) and cabozantinib (MET inhibitor); AFP declined by 63% (8,320 to 3,045 ng/mL [normal: 0-15 ng/mL]). CONCLUSION:ctDNA derived from noninvasive blood tests can provide exploitable genomic profiles in patients with HCC. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE:This study reports that blood-derived circulating tumor DNA can provide therapeutically exploitable genomic profiles in hepatocellular cancer, a malignancy that is known to be difficult to biopsy.