Systemic Therapy for Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma in an Evolving Landscape

  • Kabir Mody
  • Ghassan K. Abou-Alfa
Upper Gastrointestinal Cancers (L Rajdev, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Upper Gastrointestinal Cancers

Opinion statement

Globally, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a leading cause of cancer-related death and a malignancy with rising incidence. After sorafenib remaining the one and only FDA-approved therapy for the disease for many years, the past 2 years has seen the landscape of available treatments change dramatically. Multiple multi-targeted tyrosine kinases (TKIs) have demonstrated success and garnered FDA approval both in the first- (lenvatinib) and second-line (regorafenib) settings. Now, various questions regarding the sequencing of these therapies remain for investigation. Effective positioning of these TKIs will be crucial to optimization of outcomes for patients with HCC. Additionally, promising outcomes have been seen with a number of immunotherapies, and one such agent has been approved (nivolumab). Positioning of these immunotherapies in the landscape may or may not have impacts upon sequencing of all of the available therapies. Further studies are ongoing investigating such sequencing questions, in addition to more novel agents to combat this devastating disease.


Hepatocellular carcinoma Liver neoplasm HCC Targeted therapy Systemic therapy Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) Sorafenib Lenvatinib Nivolumab Pembrolizumab Checkpoint inhibitors Cabozantinib Regorafenib Ramicirumab 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Kabir Mody has received research funding from Agios, Senwha Biosciences, Taiho, ArQule, Astra Zeneca, Genentech, Incyte, Tracon Pharmaceuticals, Medimmune, and Puma Biotechnology; and has received compensation from AstraZeneca, Bayer, Celgene, Eisai, Exelixis, Merrimack, and Vicus for service as a consultant.

Ghassan K. Abou-Alfa has received research funding from ActaBiologica, Agios, Array, AstraZeneca, Bayer, Beigene, BMS, Casi, Celgene, Exelixis, Genentech, Halozyme, Incyte, Lilly, Mabvax, Novartis, OncoQuest, Polaris Puma, QED, and Roche; has received compensation from 3DMedcare, Agios, Alignmed, Amgen, Antengene, Aptus, Aslan, Astellas, Astra Zeneca, Bayer, Beigene, Bioline, BMS, Boston Scientifc, Bridgebio, Carsgen, Celgene, Casi, Cipla,CytomX, Daiichi, Debio, Delcath, Eisai, Exelixis, Genoscience, Gilead, Halozyme, Hengrui, Inovio, Ipsen, Jazz, Jansen, Kyowa Kirin, LAM, Lilly, Loxo, Merck, Mina, Newlink Genetcis, Novella, Onxeo, PCI Biotech, Pfizer, Pharmacyte, Pharmacyclics, Pieris, QED, Redhill, Sanofi, Servier, Silenseed, Sillajen, Sobi, Targovax, Tekmira,Twoxar, Vicus, Yakult, and Yiviva for service as a consultant; and has patents for articles and methods for preventing and treating dermatologic adverse events issued and licensed.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mayo Clinic Cancer CenterMayo Clinic FloridaJacksonvilleUSA
  2. 2.Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer CenterNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Weill Cornell Medical CollegeNew YorkUSA

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