Current perspectives in immunotherapy for liver cancer

Christoffer Briggs Lambring, Bassam Ghabach, Kalyani Narra, Riyaz Basha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Liver cancer is a particularly aggressive group of malignancies with historically low survival rates. Despite advancements in cancer treatments in general in the last few decades, incidence and mortality have not changed. Even though some phase 1 and 2 studies have shown promising results, many medication have failed to reach a sustainable level of efficacy to move into the clinical setting. Immunotherapy drugs have shown impressive results in the treatment of specific immunogenic cancers, prompting the possibility of their use in liver cancers. Immunotherapy medications approved for other cancers have received FDA accelerated approval for treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma. But, these approvals are contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in confirmatory trials. With more treatments in development involving cancer vaccines and natural killer cell–mediated therapy, liver cancer treatment is being reinvigorated with a broad array of new treatment angles. In this review article, we discuss these treatments, focusing on mechanism of action and clinical trials. Much needed advancements in treating late-and early-stage liver cancers will require new and innovative immunotherapeutic treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-46
Number of pages16
JournalCritical Reviews in Oncogenesis
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020


  • Durvalumab
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Immunotherapy
  • Ipilimumab
  • Liver cancer
  • Nivolumab


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