Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) clinical practice guideline on immunotherapy for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma
Tim F Greten 1 , Ghassan K Abou-Alfa 2 3 , Ann-Lii Cheng 4 , Austin G Duffy 5 , Anthony B El-Khoueiry 6 , Richard S Finn 7 , Peter R Galle 8 , Lipika Goyal 9 , Aiwu Ruth He 10 , Ahmed O Kaseb 11 , Robin Kate Kelley 12 , Riccardo Lencioni 13 14 , Amaia Lujambio 15 , Donna Mabry Hrones 16 , David J Pinato 17 , Bruno Sangro 18 19 , Roberto I Troisi 20 , Andrea Wilson Woods 21 , Thomas Yau 22 , Andrew X Zhu 9 23 , Ignacio Melero 24 25 26
Patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) have historically had few options and faced extremely poor prognoses if their disease progressed after standard-of-care tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs).
Recently, the standard of care for HCC has been transformed as a combination of the immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) atezolizumab plus the anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) antibody bevacizumab was shown to offer improved overall survival in the first-line setting.
Immunotherapy has demonstrated safety and efficacy in later lines of therapy as well, and ongoing trials are investigating novel combinations of ICIs and TKIs, in addition to interventions earlier in the course of disease or in combination with liver-directed therapies. Because HCC usually develops against a background of cirrhosis, immunotherapy for liver tumors is complex and oncologists need to account for both immunological and hepatological considerations when developing a treatment plan for their patients.
To provide guidance to the oncology community on important concerns for the immunotherapeutic care of HCC, the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) convened a multidisciplinary panel of experts to develop a clinical practice guideline (CPG).
The expert panel drew on the published literature as well as their clinical experience to develop recommendations for healthcare professionals on these important aspects of immunotherapeutic treatment for HCC, including diagnosis and staging, treatment planning, immune-related adverse events (irAEs), and patient quality of life (QOL) considerations.
The evidence- and consensus-based recommendations in this CPG are intended to give guidance to cancer care providers treating patients with HCC.