Session 13 – Advances in Cancer Immunotherapy
Date: 24 July (Friday) 14:00 – 15:30 (GMT+8)
Venue: 701EF, 7F, TaiNEX2 / Online event platform
Ann-Lii Cheng is distinguished professor and President of the NTU Cancer Center of National Taiwan University. He received his MD degree, PhD degree, and his specialty training in internal medicine and medical oncology at the Medical School of the National Taiwan University. Dr. Cheng has been actively involved in basic and translational research of hepatocellular carcinoma and published more than 300 peer-reviewed articles. He was elected as Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2007. He served as president of the Taiwan Oncology Society 2009-2011. He was elected as National Chair Professor, the highest honor for all university professors in Taiwan, and has been the founding director of NTU Cancer Center. He servesd as the president of APPLE (Asia Pacific Primary Liver Cancer Expert) society 2017-2019. He is considered a world leader in the clinical and translational research of hepatocellular carcinoma, and has contributed significantly to all three first-line treatment of advanced HCC sorafenib, lenvatinib, and the combination of atezolizumab and bevacizumab.
Speech title & Synopsis
The past few years have witnessed a booming development of drugs for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The paradigms has rapidly shifted from chemotherapy to molecular targeted therapy, and to immunotherapy.
Although the tumor response rate of single-agent anti-PD1 is around 15%, the quality of response appears to be superior, with many remitted metastatic tumors remain under control for a long duration. This observation has encouraged resection or ablation for the residual hepatic tumors and thus brings closer of oncologist, surgeons, and other experts performing locoregional intervention, even in the later stages of the disease. Further, peri-operative administration of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) may further enhance the host immunity against tumors. Pivotal phase III trials are enthusiastically testing the efficacy of adjuvant ICIs in HCC. Taiwan Cooperative Oncologic Group (TCOG), a nation-wide clinical trials group in Taiwan, is pioneering one of the few neo-adjuvant ICIs trial for HCC.
Combinations of ICIs with multi-target TKIs or selected VEGF antibody may further improve tumor response and patient survival. One of the study, recently approved by FDA for the 1L treatment of advanced HCC, tested the combination of atezolizumab (anti-PDL1) and bevacizumab (anti-VEGF). The results are hitory-making, with tumor response rate around 30%, and median overall survival not even reached at reporting. Large phase III clinical trials are enthusiastically testing different combinations. A new era for the treatment of HCC has just begun.