Potentiating cancer vaccine efficacy in liver cancer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common liver malignancy with a poor prognosis and an overall 5-year survival rate of approximately 5–6%. This is due because standard of care treatment options are limited and none of them shows a sufficient efficacy. HCC is an “inflammation-induced cancer” and preliminary preclinical and clinical data suggest that immunotherapeutic approaches may be a good alternative candidate for the treatment of HCC patients improving the dismal prognosis associated with this cancer. However, recent findings strongly suggest that an optimal immunotherapy in HCC requires the combination of an immune activator with immune modulators, aiming at compensating the strong liver immune suppressive microenvironment. One of the most promising strategy could be represented by the combination of a cancer vaccine with immunomodulatory drugs, such as chemotherapy and checkpoint inhibitors. Very limited examples of such combinatorial strategies have been evaluated in HCC to date, because HCC easily develops resistance to standard chemotherapy, which is also poorly tolerated by patients with liver cirrhosis. The present review describes the most update knowledge in this field.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • checkpoint inhibitors
  • chemotherapy
  • combinatorial strategy
  • liver cancer
  • metronomic chemotherapy
  • models of anticancer vaccination
  • therapeutic trials
  • therapeutic vaccination
  • Vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Oncology


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