©The Author(s) 2022. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
Immunotherapy for hepatocellular carcinoma: A promising therapeutic option for advanced disease
Gianluca Cassese, Ho-Seong Han, Boram Lee, Hae Won Lee, Jai Young Cho, Fabrizio Panaro, Roberto Ivan Troisi
Gianluca Cassese, Roberto Ivan Troisi, Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, Division of Minimally Invasive and Robotic HPB Surgery, Federico II University, Naples 80131, Italy
Gianluca Cassese, Ho-Seong Han, Boram Lee, Hae Won Lee, Jai Young Cho, Department of Surgery, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam 13620, South Korea
Fabrizio Panaro, Department of Surgery, Division of HBP Surgery and Transplantation, Montpellier University Hospital - School of Medicine, Montpellier 34000, France
Author contributions: Han HS, Cassese G, Troisi RI, and Panaro F conceived and designed the study; Cassese G and Lee B wrote the manuscript; Han HS, Cho JY, Lee HW, and Troisi RI participated in the coordination of the work and in the final revision. All authors approved the final manuscript.
Conflict-of-interest statement: All the authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: https://creativecommons.org/Licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Corresponding author: Ho-Seong Han, Professor, Department of Surgery, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seoul National University College of Medicine, 300 Gumi-dong, Bundang-gu, Seongnam City, Gyeonggido, Seongnam 13620, South Korea. firstname.lastname@example.org
Received: July 4, 2022
Peer-review started: July 4, 2022
First decision: August 13, 2022
Revised: July 20, 2022
Accepted: October 3, 2022
Article in press: October 3, 2022
Published online: October 27, 2022
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide, and its incidence continues to increase. Despite improvements in both medical and surgical therapies, HCC remains associated with poor outcomes due to its high rates of recurrence and mortality. Approximately 50% of patients require systemic therapies that traditionally consist of tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Recently, however, immune checkpoint inhibitors have revolutionized HCC management, providing new therapeutic options. Despite these major advances, the different factors involved in poor clinical responses and molecular pathways leading to resistance following use of these therapies remain unclear. Alternative strategies, such as adoptive T cell transfer, vaccination, and virotherapy, are currently under evaluation. Combinations of immunotherapies with other systemic or local treatments are also being investigated and may be the most promising opportunities for HCC treatment. The aim of this review is to provide updated information on currently available immunotherapies for HCC as well as future perspectives.
Core Tip: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is associated with high rates of recurrence and mortality. Approximately 50% of the patients require systemic therapies, traditionally consisting of tyrosine kinase inhibitors, with poor outcomes. Recently, immune checkpoint inhibitors have revolutionized the management of HCC, providing new therapeutic options. Despite these major advances, the different factors involved in poor clinical responses and molecular pathways of escape following use of these therapies remain unclear. Other immune strategies, such as adoptive T-cell transfer, vaccination, virotherapy, and combinations of immunotherapy with other systemic or local treatments, are under evaluation.