Liver cancer

Nivolumab: checkmate for hepatocellular carcinoma?

Only one drug (sorafenib) is approved for the treatment of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), but alternatives are urgently needed. The safety of nivolumab (PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor) was tested in a phase I/II, open-label, dose escalation and expansion trial (CheckMate 040), in patients with or without viral hepatitis and as first-line or second-line (after sorafenib) therapy. Nivolumab had a manageable safety profile, with acceptable tolerability. Moreover, the objective response rates (range 15–20%) combined with the substantial reductions in tumour burden indicated the potential of nivolumab as HCC therapy. Results of the ongoing phase III trial for nivolumab versus sorafenib in advanced HCC are awaited.

References

  1. 1

    El-Khoueiry, A. B. et al. Nivolumab in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (CheckMate 040): an open-label, non-comparative, phase 1/2 dose escalation and expansion trial. Lancet http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(17)31046-2 (2017)

Download references

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Ray, K. Nivolumab: checkmate for hepatocellular carcinoma?. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol 14, 326 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/nrgastro.2017.62

Download citation

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing