Optimal systemic treatment for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma: current clinical evidence and new insights based on tumour immunobiology

BJMO - volume 14, issue 7, november 2020

S. Cappuyns MD, J. Dekervel MD, PhD, E. van Cutsem MD, PhD, S. Tejpar MD, PhD, C. Verslype MD, PhD


Advanced hepatocellular carcinoma, known for its dismal prognosis, is a disease that is challenging to treat. For almost a decade, sorafenib was the only available treatment. However, the last two to three years have witnessed a true revolution in systemic treatment options for this lethal disease. Several targeted therapies with mostly anti-angiogenic properties have been developed and immunotherapy has made its entrance into the field. Furthermore, a growing understanding of the molecular pathways involved in hepatocarcinogenesis and new insights in tumour-immunobiology have led to the development of rational combination therapies, showing very promising results in a myriad of ongoing clinical trials. Here we review the latest developments and discuss the main consequences for clinical practice.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2020;14(7):339-46)

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