BioScience Trends. 2024;18(1):21-41. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2023.01436)

Neoadjuvant therapies in resectable hepatocellular carcinoma: Exploring strategies to improve prognosis

Ma YN, Jiang XM, Song PP, Tang W


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a challenging malignancy, often necessitates surgical intervention, notably liver resection. However, the high recurrence rate, reaching 70% within 5 years post-resection, significantly impacts patient outcomes. Neoadjuvant therapies aim to preoperatively address this challenge, reducing lesion size, improving surgical resection rates, deactivating potential micrometastases, and ultimately lowering postoperative recurrence rates. This review concentrates on advances in research on and clinical use of neoadjuvant therapies for HCC, with particular attention to the use of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) targeting programmed cell death-1 (PD-1), programmed cell death ligand-1 (PD-L1), and cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein-4 (CTLA-4). Ongoing clinical studies exploring immunotherapy combined with a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), interventional therapy, radiotherapy, and other modalities offer promising insights into overcoming resistance to monotherapies. In summary, neoadjuvant therapies hold significant promise in terms of improving the prognosis for patients with HCC and enhancing long-term survival, particularly through innovative combination strategies.

KEYWORDS: immunotherapy, targeted therapy, recurrence, clinical trials, endpoint, response

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