Conference Recap

Breakthroughs in HCC and Liver Cancer From ASCO 2020


Dr Andrew X. Zhu, liver cancer expert at Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and Jiahui International Cancer Center, Shanghai, discusses the latest innovations and potentially practice-changing data in the management of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and liver cancer from the ASCO 2020 virtual annual meeting.

Highlights include two trials looking at first- and second-line options in Chinese patients with advanced HCC, who account for more than 50% of cases worldwide. Donafenib significantly improved overall survival versus sorafenib in the first-line setting. Donafenib was well tolerated and showed a favorable safety profile. Apatinib achieved similarly impressive outcomes in the second-line setting and showed a manageable safety profile.

Next, Dr Zhu discusses the novel combination of tremelimumab and durvalumab in advanced HCC. One dosing regimen in particular more than doubled overall survival and responses rates.

He then reviews one of his own studies, a phase 1b trial of the multikinase inhibitor lenvatinib plus pembrolizumab in unresectable HCC, which achieved promising results.

Finally, transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) with epirubicin-loaded drug-eluting beads goes head-to-head with conventional epirubicin-lipiodol TACE to determine which has greater efficacy.

Andrew X. Zhu, MD, PhD

Director Emeritus, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Boston, Massachusetts; Director, Jiahui International Cancer Center, Jiahui International Hospital, Shanghai, China. Andrew X. Zhu, MD, PhD, has disclosed the following relevant financial relationships: Serve(d) as a director, officer, partner, employee, advisor, consultant, or trustee for: Bayer; Merck; Eisai; Roche; Eli Lilly and Company; Sanofi; Exelixis

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