BioScience Trends. 2021;15(3):155-160. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2021.01091)

Conversion therapy and maintenance therapy for primary hepatocellular carcinoma

Zhou HY, Song TQ


The preferred treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is surgery, which is the only way to achieve long-term survival and even a cure. However, the vast majority of patients with liver cancer in China are already in the middle to advanced stage of the disease and no longer have the opportunity to undergo surgery. The goal of conversion therapy is to transform unresectable advanced liver cancer or potentially resectable liver cancer into resectable cancer, so it has become a topic of interest in the treatment of advanced liver cancer. Common modalities of conversion therapy are: local treatment (TACE, TARE, or HAIC), systemic treatment (targeted therapy alone or combined with immunotherapy), and a therapeutic alliance (TACE combined with radiation therapy, TACE combined with targeted therapy, HAIC combined with targeted therapy, or HAIC combined with targeted therapy and immunotherapy). The plan for maintenance treatment after conversion therapy is determined based on the outcome of conversion therapy to obtain the best survival benefit for patients.

KEYWORDS: hepatocellular carcinoma, conversion therapy, maintenance therapy, China

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