Hepatocellular cancer (HCC) is a very fatal disease due to limited therapeutic options as well as due to its association with underlying chronic liver disease in the majority of cases. The immune evasion in HCC signifies a major barrier to the delivery of effective immunotherapy. Sorafenib is the only Food and Drug Administration-approved drug available with an overall response rate of 2%–3% and overall survival of 2.8 months. Chemotherapy has not been used routinely because of the relative refractoriness of advanced HCC. The introduction of immune checkpoint inhibitors (cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4, programmed death 1, and programmed death-ligand 1) has opened a new horizon for cancer immunotherapy. Future direction in immunotherapy for HCC is to rationally combine it with other treatment modalities, including surgery, radiofrequency ablation, and cytotoxic agents, to maximize its therapeutic efficacy.
Raufi A, Tirona MT. Prospect of the use of checkpoint inhibitors in hepatocellular cancer treatments. Cancer Management and Research. 2017;9:19-27.