1 Department of Biology, University of California San Diego, San Diego, CA, 92093, USA.
2 Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of California Irvine, Orange, CA, 92868, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org.
In terms of global cancer-related deaths, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has the fourth highest mortality rate. Up until 2017, treatment of advanced HCC was largely limited to sorafenib, an oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor, with little to no success in the development of alternative treatment options. However, in the past two years, there has been an unprecedented increase in both the number and type of treatment options available for HCC. As of 2019, the US FDA has approved four oral tyrosine kinase inhibitors, two immune checkpoint inhibitors, and one anti-angiogenesis antibody for the treatment of HCC. Even with this new variety, systemic treatment of advanced HCC remains largely unsatisfactory, and the median survival rate stands at approximately one year. The expected breakthrough of using immune checkpoint inhibitors in advanced HCC did not materialize in 2019. The use of immune checkpoint inhibitors in conjunction with oral tyrosine kinase inhibitors or anti-angiogenesis medications is the current clinical research trend, the results of which are eagerly anticipated. Despite limited progress in survival, HCC research is currently experiencing a period of growth and innovation, and there is hope for significant advances in the treatment of advanced HCC as the field continues to develop.