Dr. Kim on the Utility of Atezolizumab/Bevacizumab in HCC


Joseph Kim, MD, on the utility of atezolizumab plus bevacizumab in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.

Joseph Kim, MD, professor of surgery and chief, Division of Surgical Oncology, University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center, the utility of atezolizumab (Tecentriq) plus bevacizumab (Avastin) in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

In the past few years, several breakthroughs have been made in the gastrointestinal malignancies space, especially regarding immunotherapy. Notably, checkpoint inhibitors, like atezolizumab, target proteins on the surface of cancer cells, along with immune cells that prevent the destruction of cancer cells, Kim explains. Ultimately, these agents permit immune defenses to effectively kill cancer cells, Kim says.

In the phase 3 IMbrave150 trial, patients with unresectable HCC were randomized 2:1 to receive atezolizumab plus bevacizumab or sorafenib (Nexavar) until loss of clinical benefit or unacceptable toxicity. Notably, bevacizumab works by modulating the tumor vasculature, allowing the immune cells to invade and destroy the cancer cells. This trial demonstrated synergism between atezolizumab and bevacizumab among patients with HCC, Kim concludes.

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