Josep M. Llovet, MD, PhD, Icahn School of Medicine, discusses the potential for biomarkers to improve the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
Josep M. Llovet, MD, PhD, founder and director of the Liver Cancer Program, full professor of medicine, Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, discusses the potential for biomarkers to improve the treatment of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
Immune checkpoints, such as PD-L1, are expressed in a variety of immune cells, and PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors designed to block these molecules are proven to be effective against a wide spectrum of malignancies. While checkpoint inhibitors provide a great deal of hope for patients, in the future, it will be key to understand why some patients respond well to these therapies while others do not.
However, it will be equally important to identify biomarkers for patients who have treatment-resistant disease. HCC is subject to an immune-exclusion subclass, in which genetic expression is silent to the immune system. This immune exclusion could one day prove to be a biomarker that can help guide clinical practice in HCC, though this theory will need to be further tested.
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