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A new perspective on the immune escape mechanism in HCC: onco-foetal reprogramming


We found a shared immunosuppressive microenvironment between foetal liver and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) which includes the re-emergence of foetal-associated endothelial cells (PLVAP/VEGFR2) and foetal-like (FOLR2) tumour-associated macrophages in HCC, mediated via VEGF–NOTCH signalling. The discoveries suggest possible novel targets for therapeutic interventions in HCC.

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Fig. 1: Onco-foetal ecosystem in HCC.


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We would like to acknowledge the senior authors of the CELL article (DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2020.08.040) for providing valuable insights to the commentary.

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S.C.C. and S.Y.C. discussed and prepared the commentary. P.K.C. discussed, reviewed and edited the commentary.

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Correspondence to Pierce Kah-Hoe Chow.

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Chew, S.C., Choo, S.Y. & Chow, P.KH. A new perspective on the immune escape mechanism in HCC: onco-foetal reprogramming. Br J Cancer 124, 1897–1899 (2021).

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