Dr. Tim F. Greten on Immunotherapy in HCC

Tim F. Greten, MD
Published: Sunday, Nov 13, 2016


Tim F. Greten, MD, senior investigator thoracic and gastrointestinal oncology branch, head, gastrointestinal malignancy section, National Cancer Institute (NCI), discusses the potential for immunotherapy in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
 
There is a significant need for new therapies in liver cancer, as it is one of the most frequent tumors worldwide and treatments are very limited, especially for patients with advanced disease, says Greten. 
 
Risk factors for liver cancer include chronic viral infection and hepatitis, which both cause chronic inflation. Using an immune-based approach is fairly obvious in this scenario, says Greten. 
 
In recent years, there have been multiple pre-clinical studies indicating that immunotherapy may be a viable option for patients with liver cancer, and now with the increase of checkpoint inhibitors throughout oncology, more studies are being conduced in HCC, says Greten.
 
There is early promise with checkpoint inhibitors in this disease and patients are showing a response to an immune-based approach.
 
People used to think that liver cancer was the wrong disease for an immune-based approach, but liver cancer appears to be much more immunogenic than one would assume, says Greten.

Tim F. Greten, MD, senior investigator thoracic and gastrointestinal oncology branch, head, gastrointestinal malignancy section, National Cancer Institute (NCI), discusses the potential for immunotherapy in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
 
There is a significant need for new therapies in liver cancer, as it is one of the most frequent tumors worldwide and treatments are very limited, especially for patients with advanced disease, says Greten. 
 
Risk factors for liver cancer include chronic viral infection and hepatitis, which both cause chronic inflation. Using an immune-based approach is fairly obvious in this scenario, says Greten. 
 
In recent years, there have been multiple pre-clinical studies indicating that immunotherapy may be a viable option for patients with liver cancer, and now with the increase of checkpoint inhibitors throughout oncology, more studies are being conduced in HCC, says Greten.
 
There is early promise with checkpoint inhibitors in this disease and patients are showing a response to an immune-based approach.
 
People used to think that liver cancer was the wrong disease for an immune-based approach, but liver cancer appears to be much more immunogenic than one would assume, says Greten.

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