Which medications in the drug class PD-1/PD-L1 Inhibitors are used in the treatment of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC)?

Updated: Jan 31, 2021
  • Author: Luca Cicalese, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: John Geibel, MD, MSc, DSc, AGAF  more...
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PD-1/PD-L1 Inhibitors

PD-1 and related target PD-ligand 1 (PD-L1) are expressed on the surface of activated T cells under normal conditions. PD-L1/PD-1 interaction inhibits immune activation and reduces T-cell cytotoxic activity when bound.

Nivolumab (Opdivo)

Nivolumab is a programmed death receptor-1 (PD-1) blocking antibody. It is indicated for hepatocellular carcinoma in patients who have been previously treated with sorafenib.

Pembrolizumab (Keytruda)

Pembrolizumab is a monoclonal antibody that binds to the PD-1 receptor and blocks its interaction with PD-L1 and PD-L2, releasing PD-1 pathway-mediated inhibition of the immune response, including the antitumor immune response. Binding of PD-1 ligands, PD-L1 and PD-L2, to the PD-1 receptor found on T cells, inhibits T cell proliferation and cytokine production. It is indicated for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who have been previously treated with sorafenib.

Atezolizumab (Tecentriq)

Monoclonal antibody to programmed cell death ligand-1 protein (PDL1). It binds to PDL-1 which blocks the interaction between PDL-1 and its ligands. It is indicated, in combination with bevacizumab, for unresectable or metastatic HCC who have not received prior systemic therapy.

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