Friday, 9 September 2016

State-of-the-Art Lecture 1: Immunology and Immunotherapy of Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Chair: Andrew X. Zhu, MD, PhD (USA)

Speaker: Tim Greten, MD (USA)

HCC represents a typical inflammation associated cancer. Chronic viral hepatitis and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis represent important risk factors for the development of HCC. Hepatitis B vaccination has been shown to reduce HCC incidence. Thus there is a good scientific rationale to study how chronic immune responses promote hepatocarcinogenesis, but also immune-based approaches can be utilised to treat patients with HCC. Very early results from clinical trials indeed suggest a possible role for immunotherapy in the treatment of cancer. I will summarize recent data about from our laboratory how tumours and/or the tumour microenvironment promotes tumour growth by suppressing anti-tumour immunity and provide an overview of currently ongoing experimental approaches to treat patients with HCC using immune-based approaches. Finally, I will try to provide a perspective where the field of immunotherapy of HCC may move in the near future.