Immunotherapy for hepatocellular carcinoma: From basic research to clinical use

World J Hepatol. 2015 May 8;7(7):980-92. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v7.i7.980.


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a common cancer worldwide with a poor prognosis. Few strategies have been proven efficient in HCC treatment, particularly for those patients not indicated for curative resection or transplantation. Immunotherapy has been developed for decades for cancer control and is attaining more attention as a result of encouraging outcomes of new strategies such as chimeric antigen receptor T cells and immune checkpoint blockade. Right at the front of the new era of immunotherapy, we review the immunotherapy in HCC treatment, from basic research to clinical trials, covering anything from immunomodulators, tumor vaccines and adoptive immunotherapy. The mechanisms, efficacy and safety as well as the approach particulars are unveiled to assist readers to gain a concise but extensive understanding of immunotherapy of HCC.

Keywords: Adoptive immunotherapy; Checkpoint blockade; Chemokine; Chimeric antigen receptor; Interferon; Tumor vaccine.

Publication types

  • Review