BioScience Trends. 2022;16(5):377-380. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2022.01373)

A well-matched marriage of immunotherapy and radiofrequency ablation to reduce the relapse and progression of hepatocellular carcinoma

Liao R, Song PP, Duan YX, Ye WT, Yin KL, Kang MQ, Yu YX, Yang J, Tang W


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains a health challenge with increasing incidence worldwide. Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a potentially curative option for patients with early-stage HCC. However, the high rate of tumor recurrence limits long-term survival when the tumors are larger than 2 cm and undergoing insufficient RFA (iRFA). Notably, in situ tumor necrosis due to thermal ablation is assumed to be a source of antigens that induce antitumor immunity. Therefore, mounting studies and trials have attempted to provide a rational and effective therapeutic strategy combining RFA and immunotherapy to treat HCC. Nowadays, many controversies and challenges with this combined therapeutic strategy remain to be resolved, such as the indications for adjuvant immunotherapy along with RFA in early HCC, the sequence of the two treatments in advanced HCC, and the optimal timing of immunotherapy before or after RFA. In addition, individualized treatment strategies need to be perfected for patients with HCC.

KEYWORDS: immunotherapy, radiofrequency ablation, hepatocellular carcinoma, recurrence, metastasis

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