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Novel Combos, Predictive Biomarkers Slated as Future of HCC Treatment

Brandon Scalea
Published: Wednesday, Jun 19, 2019

Anthony B. El-Khoueiry, MD

Anthony B. El-Khoueiry, MD

With the armamentarium for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) significantly expanding over the past few years, the next questions lie in the utility of biomarkers to determine which therapies are best for which patient, as well as the future role of combination therapies, said Anthony B. El-Khoueiry, MD.

“Our treatment has improved quite a bit because we have gone from having just one drug for about 10 years—sorafenib (Nexavar)—to now having a multitude of options,” said El-Khoueiry, an associate professor of clinical medicine at University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, and the director of clinical translation at the Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

In addition to the plethora of available TKIs, more mature data could increase the prominence of PD-1 inhibitors, such as nivolumab (Opdivo) and pembrolizumab (Keytruda). The VEGFR2-inhibitor ramucirumab (Cyramza) is also now available for patients with alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) ≥400 ng/mL following treatment with sorafenib, added El-Khoueiry.

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