Immunotherapy of hepatocellular carcinoma

PMID: 30190978
Journal: Hepatic oncology (volume: 1, issue: 4, Hepat Oncol 2014 Oct;1(4):433-446)
Published: 2014-12-11

Sangro B, Palmer D, Melero I


Newer immunotherapy agents may break the barrier that tumors create to evade the attack from the immune system. Dendritic cell vaccination has shown encouraging clinical activity and a favorable safety profile in advanced tumor stages. However, optimal cell maturation status, choice of tumor antigens and route of administration have not been established. Single or multiple peptides derived from tumor-associated antigens may also be used for cancer vaccination. Intratumoral delivery of oncolytic viruses expressing immunostimulating cytokines like GM-CSF have produced stimulating clinical results that need further verification. But it is probably T-cell checkpoint modulation with monoclonal antibodies that has attracted the highest expectations. Promising activity has been reported for tremelimumab, a CTLA-4 inhibitor, and a clinical trial testing the PD-1 antibody nivolumab is underway. Future progress will probably come from a better understanding of the mechanisms of cancer-related immunosuppression, improvement in agents and strategies and combination of the available therapeutic tools.