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Dig Dis. 2010;28(1):150-4. doi: 10.1159/000282079. Epub 2010 May 7.

Immune responses in hepatocellular carcinoma.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Endocrinology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) represents the third most common cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide and efficient treatment options are urgently needed. Based on its pathogenesis as well as a number of correlative studies, immunotherapy represents a potential therapeutic option for patients with HCC. However, tumors have also evolved numerous immune escape mechanisms, such as the generation of cells with immune suppressor functions, including regulatory T cells and myeloid-derived suppressor cells. It has been shown that these suppressor cells mask tumor-specific immune responses in patients with HCC. We propose that targeting suppressor cells either alone or in combination with conventional immunotherapy should be further evaluated in HCC patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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