Ruth He, MD, acknowledges the current struggles experts face in combatting unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma.
Ruth He, MD: Despite an increase in treatment options for HCC [hepatocellular carcinoma], patients still die from HCC. Novel approaches need to be explored, especially for patients who have shown resistance to frontline therapy, such as novel immune checkpoint inhibitors, and cellular therapy, such as CAR [chimeric antigen receptor] T cells, for advanced HCC.
Despite excellent effort from our liver surgeons, patients can recur after resection or transplant. Therefore, I believe adjuvant therapy is needed in patients with early stage HCC to avoid recurrence after resection or transplant effort. In addition, locoregional therapy for patients with intermediate-stage HCC provides limited duration of response and disease control. Most of these patients eventually develop more extensive disease in the liver, vascular invasion, and extrahepatic spreading. Systemic therapy is needed when patients develop refractory disease to locoregional therapy. The unmet needs for this patient population are currently being evaluated in many clinical trials.
Transcript edited for clarity.