Journal of Clinical and Translational Hepatology

Journal of Clinical and Translational Hepatology

Saturday, 02 / 27 / 2021




Management and Treatment of Hepatocellular Carcinoma with Immunotherapy: A Review of Current and Future Options

Shima Ghavimi, Tehila ApfelHamed AzimiAlana Persaud and  Nikolaos T. Pyrsopoulos*,

Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ, USA
*Correspondence to: Nikolaos T. Pyrsopoulos, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, 185 South Orange Avenue, H-538, Newark, NJ 07103, USA. Tel: +1-973-972-5252, Fax: +1-973-9723144, E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Journal of Clinical and Translational Hepatology 2020;8(2):168-176 DOI: 10.14218/JCTH.2020.00001
Received: January 6, 2020 Accepted: May 16, 2020 Published onlineJune 10, 2020


With mortality rates of liver cancer doubling in the last 20 years, this disease is on the rise and has become the fifth most common cancer in men and the seventh most common cancer in women. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) represents approximately 90% of all primary liver cancers and is a major global health concern. Patients with HCC can be managed curatively with surgical resection or with liver transplantation, if they are diagnosed at an early stage. Unfortunately, most patients with HCC present with advanced stages of the disease and have underlying liver dysfunction, which allows only 15% of patients to be eligible for curative treatment. Several different treatment modalities are available, including locoregional therapy radiofrequency ablation, microwave ablation, percutaneous ethanol injection, trans-arterial chemoembolization, transarterial radio-embolization, cryoablation, radiation therapy, stereotactic radiotherapy, systemic chemotherapy, molecularly targeted therapies, and immunotherapy. Immunotherapy has recently become a promising method for inhibiting HCC tumor progression, recurrence, and metastasis. The term “Immunotherapy” is a catch-all, encompassing a wide range of applications and targets, including HCC vaccines, adoptive cell therapy, immune checkpoint inhibitors, and use of oncolytic viruses to treat HCC. Immunotherapy in HCC is a relatively safe option for treating patients with advanced disease in the USA who are either unable to receive or failed sorafenib/lenvatinib therapy and thus may offer an additional survival benefit for these patients. The purpose of this review is to elaborate on some of the most recent advancements in immunotherapy.


Carcinoma, Hepatocellular, Immunotherapy, Immunotherapy, Adoptive, Nivolumab

Journal of Clinical and Translational Hepatology 2020 vol. 8, 168-176  [ Html  ] [ PDF Full-text ]

© The Authors 2018. This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial License (CC BY-NC 4.0), which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non commercial and is otherwise in compliance with the license.


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