Early Experiences with Triple Immunochemotherapy in Adolescents and Young Adults with High-Risk Fibrolamellar Carcinoma

Oncology. 2021;99(5):310-317. doi: 10.1159/000513358. Epub 2021 Mar 9.


Introduction: There are no standard systemic therapies for the treatment of fibrolamellar carcinoma (FLC), as surgery remains the only definitive option. We share our experiences using systemic "triple therapy" (TT) with 5-fluorouracil, interferon, and nivolumab for the treatment of relapsed, refractory, metastatic, or unresectable FLC.

Methods: Data from all patients who received TT from May 2018 to July 2020 were reviewed to assess response, survival, and toxicity.

Results: A total of 22 patients were treated with TT, of which 14 (median age of 21 years) were evaluable. They received a median of 18 cycles (8-44). At the time of analysis, the median progression-free survival was 9 months (4.5-26), 29% longer than prior to TT, with 5 patients achieving clinical remission, 8 patients stable or improving, and 1 progression. Overall objective response (clinical remission + partial response) was 50% and tumor control rate (clinical remission + partial response + stable disease) was 93%. Two patients withdrew from treatment due to side effects.

Discussion/conclusion: Our early results support TT as a promising medical option to slow disease progression and prolong survival in high-risk patients with FLC. TT can be administered in the outpatient setting and has shown good tolerability. Further longitudinal data is needed to confirm outcomes, especially in patients still early in their treatment.

Keywords: 5-FU; Fibrolamellar carcinoma; Immunotherapy; Interferon; Nivolumab.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / pathology
  • Child
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm*
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / diagnosis
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Fluorouracil / administration & dosage
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Illinois / epidemiology
  • Interferons / administration & dosage
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Nivolumab / administration & dosage
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Salvage Therapy*
  • Survival Rate
  • Young Adult


  • Nivolumab
  • Interferons
  • Fluorouracil

Supplementary concepts

  • Fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma