Could Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cause One Million Deaths Annually by 2030?


Thanks to advances in immunotherapy, liver cancer (Hepatocellular carcinoma-HCC) has seen a rise in treatment options for patients in advanced stages of the disease. HCC is one of the most common causes of cancer-related fatalities in the world. This is especially true in China, as outlined in the journal Liver Cancer.

Due to the lack of adequate tests in the early stages of the disease, most HCC patients are not diagnosed until the cancer has progressed to an advanced stage. The last stage of tumor development is stage three. At this level, the invasiveness and growth of tumor cells increase dramatically.

This article offers an analysis of camrelizumab, a laboratory-made monoclonal antibody.

Camrelizumab has proven to be effective in blocking the interchange between PD-1 and PD-L1.

Programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) controls T cells which are a type of immune cell regulating the immune system.

Programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) is a protein that prevents immune cells from going on the attack against harmless cells. Some cancer cells have a high amount of PD-L1 which allows the cancer to escape detection.

About the Phase 2 Study

The study for advanced pretreated HCC was conducted at multiple facilities. The goal of the study was to accumulate long-term data and determine the efficacy of camrelizumab at advanced stages of progression.

  • Patients were given 3mg/kg infusions of camrelizumab for one year every two or three weeks starting November 2016. The drug demonstrated strong antitumor activity. Patients were monitored at 12, 18, and 24 months. Camrelizumab’s safety profile was acceptable. It included all patients receiving one dose of Camrelizumab. The median overall survival (OS) was 14.2 months. (Details are available here).

Looking Forward

After two years, camrelizumab continued to exhibit long survivals, durable responses, and manageable toxicities in patients who participated in the study. Twenty-three percent of patients who had advanced HCC and had continued camrelizumab saw a thirty percent reduction in lesion size in relation to baseline with a median overall survival (OS) of 16.9 months.

The researchers suggest that camrelizumab monotherapy could be a major therapeutic option with respect to HCC in both second-line and later settings.


Rose Duesterwald

Rose Duesterwald

Rose became acquainted with Patient Worthy after her husband was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) six years ago. During this period of partial remission, Rose researched investigational drugs to be prepared in the event of a relapse. Her husband died February 12, 2021 with a rare and unexplained occurrence of liver cancer possibly unrelated to AML.

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