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Dr. Abou-Alfa Discusses Ongoing Studies of Immunotherapy in HCC

Ghassan K. Abou-Alfa, MD
Published: Saturday, Jan 21, 2017


Ghassan K. Abou-Alfa, MD, medical oncologist, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses ongoing studies investigating immunotherapy in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
 
The field of immunotherapy in HCC is moving extremely fast, Abou-Alfa says. There is quite a bit of evidence showing the expression of PD-1 and PD-L1 expression, as well as other markers for checkpoint inhibitors.
 
CheckMate-040, looking at nivolumab (Opdivo) in patients with HCC, showed a continued response rate of 22%. Based on this data, CheckMate-459, a study of nivolumab versus sorafenib (Nexavar), is now ongoing in the first-line setting.
 
Along that same line, the argument of whether to use checkpoint inhibitors in HCC is still unclear. For that purpose, a study of second-line pembrolizumab versus best supportive care is currently ongoing.
 
In addition, there is data suggesting that the combination of checkpoint inhibitors may be valuable in this disease, Abou-Alfa says.
 

Ghassan K. Abou-Alfa, MD, medical oncologist, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses ongoing studies investigating immunotherapy in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
 
The field of immunotherapy in HCC is moving extremely fast, Abou-Alfa says. There is quite a bit of evidence showing the expression of PD-1 and PD-L1 expression, as well as other markers for checkpoint inhibitors.
 
CheckMate-040, looking at nivolumab (Opdivo) in patients with HCC, showed a continued response rate of 22%. Based on this data, CheckMate-459, a study of nivolumab versus sorafenib (Nexavar), is now ongoing in the first-line setting.
 
Along that same line, the argument of whether to use checkpoint inhibitors in HCC is still unclear. For that purpose, a study of second-line pembrolizumab versus best supportive care is currently ongoing.
 
In addition, there is data suggesting that the combination of checkpoint inhibitors may be valuable in this disease, Abou-Alfa says.
 

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