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World J Gastrointest Surg. Oct 27, 2021; 13(10): 1136-1148
Published online Oct 27, 2021. doi: 10.4240/wjgs.v13.i10.1136
Research progress regarding programmed cell death 1/programmed cell death ligand 1 inhibitors combined with targeted therapy for treating hepatocellular carcinoma
Lin-Lin Zheng, Chang-Cheng Tao, Zong-Gui Tao, Kai Zhang, An-Ke Wu, Jian-Xiong Wu, Wei-Qi Rong
Lin-Lin Zheng, Chang-Cheng Tao, Kai Zhang, An-Ke Wu, Jian-Xiong Wu, Wei-Qi Rong, Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, National Cancer Center/National Clinical Research Center for Cancer/Cancer Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100021, China
Zong-Gui Tao, Department of Imaging, Jinan City People's Hospital, Shandong First Medical University, Jinan 271199, Shandong Province, China
Author contributions: Zheng LL and Tao CC wrote the manuscript, and contributed equally to this work; Tao ZG, Zhang K, and Wu AK contributed to the design, and critically reviewed and revised the manuscript; Wu JX and Rong WQ revised the draft; all authors reviewed and approved the final version.
Supported by CAMS Innovation Fund for Medical Science (CIFMS), No. CAMS-2016-I2M-3-025; and Beijing Hope Run Special Fund of Cancer Foundation of China, No. LC2020L05.
Conflict-of-interest statement: All the authors have no conflict of interest related to the manuscript.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/Licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Corresponding author: Wei-Qi Rong, MD, Associate Professor, Surgeon, Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, National Cancer Center/National Clinical Research Center for Cancer/Cancer Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, No. 17 Panjiayuan South Lane, Beijing 100021, China. rongweiqi@sina.com
Received: February 7, 2021
Peer-review started: February 7, 2021
First decision: June 17, 2021
Revised: June 27, 2021
Accepted: August 30, 2021
Article in press: August 30, 2021
Published online: October 27, 2021
Processing time: 261 Days and 6.1 Hours
Abstract

In recent years, a number of targeted therapeutic agents have achieved success in phase III trials in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), including sorafenib, lenvatinib, and regorafenib. Immunotherapy is considered to be an effective treatment for advanced HCC. Immune checkpoint inhibitors targeting programmed cell death 1 (PD-1)/programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) are important antitumor immunotherapy agents that represent breakthroughs in the treatment of advanced HCC. However, treating advanced HCC is still a great challenge, and the need for new treatments remains urgent. This review briefly summarizes the research progress in the use of PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors combined with targeted therapy for treating HCC.

Keywords: Programmed cell death 1/programmed cell death ligand 1 inhibitors, Targeted therapy, Hepatocellular carcinoma, Programmed cell death 1, Programmed cell death ligand 1

Core Tip: The incidence of liver cancer is high. Because the disease can develop rapidly, most patients progress to the intermediate or advanced stages and lose the opportunity to undergo radical hepatectomy. Targeted therapy brings a glimmer of hope for patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. Immunotherapy is a major focus in the field of tumor therapy, and it represents a breakthrough in the treatment of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. The combination of programmed cell death 1/programmed cell death ligand 1 inhibitors and targeted therapy, to potentially achieve the superposition of 1 + 1 > 2 effects, is a promising strategy for treating cancer.