Intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) is a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily, its mainfunction being to participate in recognition and adhesion between cells. ICAM-1 is considered closely relatedto occurrence, development, metastasis and invasion process of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). A variety ofinflammatory cytokines and stimulus affect its expression through the nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) signaltransduction pathway. In the initial stage of inflammation, hepatocirrhosis and tumor development, ICAM-1 isexpressed differently, and has varied effects on different cells to promote occurrence of malignancy and metastasis.ICAM-1 has diagnostic significance for AFP-negative or suspected HCC, and may be a prognositic significance.It is thus widely used in studies as a biomarker which reflects cancer cells metastasis as well as curative effectof drugs. Many new treatments of HCC may be based on the effects of ICAM-1 on different levels of function.