The evolution of immune checkpoint inhibitor combinations in advanced hepatocellular carcinoma – A systematic review Journal Articles uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Since approval of sorafenib in 2008, systemic therapy has been established as the main treatment option for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Recently, immune checkpoints inhibitors (ICIs) have been extensively tested in this setting. Multiple ICI combination regimens have recently received regulatory approval and new data continues to emerge. The purpose of this review is to provide a comprehensive summary of the most up-to-date evidence on ICI combinations in advanced HCC. METHODS: A search of published and presented literature was conducted to identify phase III trials of ICI combinations in advanced HCC patients. Supplemental bibliographic search of review articles and meta-analyses was also conducted. Efficacy and safety data was summarized in text, tables, and plots. FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION: The literature search identified a total of six phase III trials assessing ICI combinations in advanced HCC. Two trials compared ICI plus anti-VEGF monoclonal antibody combinations to sorafenib, three trials compared ICI plus tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) combinations to TKIs alone, and one trial compared a dual ICI regimen to sorafenib. Statistically significant survival benefits were seen with atezolizumab-bevacizumab and sintilimab-bevacizumab biosimilar as well as durvalumab-tremelimumab and camrelizumab-rivoceranib combinations. ICI combination regimens have also shown improvements in response rates and progression-free survival relative to the previous standard of care, sorafenib, and generally presented predictable and manageable safety profiles. CONCLUSION: ICI combinations represent the new standard of care for advanced HCC. Ongoing randomized trials and real-world evidence will further clarify the role of these combinations in this rapidly evolving field.


  • Meyers, Brandon
  • Knox, Jennifer J
  • Liu, David M
  • McLeod, Deanna
  • Ramjeesingh, Ravi
  • Tam, Vincent C
  • Lim, Howard J

publication date

  • July 2023