Hepatocellular Carcinoma Treatment Landscape Evolving by the Minute, Abou-Alfa Says

Ghasson K. Abou-Alfa, MD, discusses the rapid evolution observed in the treatment landscape of hepatocellular carcinoma over the last few years.

Ghasson K. Abou-Alfa, MD, a medical oncologist at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, New York, discusses the rapid evolution observed in the treatment landscape of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) over the last few years.

According to Abou-Alfa, the treatment landscape did not begin rapidly evolving until more recently after about 20 years of minimal advances. The field is now changing by the minute, and this is good news for patients with HCC. There are plenty of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) available in the field, as well as immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), so the novel advance lately has been the potential for combination therapy with ICIs, whether it be in combination with a TKI, another ICI, or an anti-VEGF therapy, says Abou-Alfa.

There is a lot of robust data coming forward in the field that researchers are looking forward to. Among the many different combination regimens being explored in HCC, Abou-Alfa says 1 example is the combination of pembrolizumab (Keytruda), an ICI, and lenvatinib (Lenvima), a TKI. We already have seen the data for the combination of atezolizumab (Tecentriq) plus bevacizumab (Avastin), which received approval from the FDA in May 2020 for unresectable or metastatic HCC, but now some of the questions that remain in the field that need to be addressed next revolve around what patients should receive these therapies and how treatments should be sequenced, Abou-Alfa concludes.