Published online Feb 21, 2019. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v25.i7.789
Peer-review started: December 8, 2018
First decision: December 28, 2018
Revised: January 10, 2019
Accepted: January 14, 2019
Article in press: January 14, 2019
Published online: February 21, 2019
Core tip: Systemic therapy for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has markedly advanced since sorafenib was approved in 2007. Since then, there was no active drug for 10 years that prolong overall survival, however, in 2017 and 2018, clinical trials of 4 more molecular targeted agents including lenvatinib as first line agent, regorafenib, cabozantinib and ramucirumab as second line agent have shown their survival benefit. In addition, immune check point inhibitors, nivolumab and pembrolizumab, were approved by Food and Drug Administration. Combination cancer immunotherapy, that combines immune checkpoint inhibitors and molecular targeted agents show great promise in the treatment of HCC.