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Expert Highlights Ongoing Research Efforts in HCC, NETs

Gina Columbus @ginacolumbusonc
Published: Friday, Feb 01, 2019

Daneng Li, MD

Daneng Li, MD

The paradigms of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) have both had recent therapeutic additions; however, more research in each area continues to be conducted to further improve survival outcomes.

on Gastrointestinal Cancers, Li, an assistant clinical professor, Department of Medical Oncology and Therapeutics Research, and a medical oncologist at City of Hope, shed light on some of the currently available regimens and ongoing research efforts being conducted in HCC and NETs.

OncLive: What studies in HCC were presented at the 2019 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium?

Li: There were various studies being presented in HCC. One thought-provoking study was a study coming out of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, which is looking at preoperative immunotherapy with either nivolumab alone or the combination of nivolumab and ipilimumab. This is very interesting, because the overall landscape of HCC is rapidly changing.

Ultimately, the more thought-provoking question in the long-term is, “Can patients who potentially have borderline resectable disease be downstaged with frontline immuno-oncology treatments to get them to resectability?” [Another challenge is can we] ultimately select for the true patients who will benefit from this in the long-term in terms of decreasing the risk of recurrence.

Cabozantinib (Cabometyx) has been approved in the second-line setting. How is this drug impacting the landscape?

Cabozantinib has an interesting role in the overall landscape for HCC. Currently in the second-line setting for HCC, it is somewhat of a crowded space. You have regorafenib (Stivarga), which is really for patients who can tolerate sorafenib (Nexavar) in the first-line setting, and then you have the recent approvals of cabozantinib, as well as prior approvals of nivolumab and pembrolizumab.
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