Liver Transplantation for Hepatocellular Carcinoma after Downstaging or Bridging Therapy with Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors.
Liver transplantation offers excellent outcomes for patients with HCC. For those who initially present within the Milan criteria, bridging therapy is essential to control disease while awaiting liver transplant. For those who present beyond the Milan criteria, a liver transplant may still be considered following successful downstaging. Since the introduction of atezolizumab as part of the first-line treatment for HCC in 2020, there has been increasing interest in the use of ICIs as bridging or downstaging therapies prior to liver transplant. A total of six case reports/series have been published on this topic, with mixed outcomes. Overall, liver transplantation can be performed safely following prolonged ICI use, though ICIs may increase the risk of fulminant acute rejection early in the post-operative period. A minimal washout period between the last dose of ICI and liver transplantation has been identified as an important factor predicting transplant outcomes; however, further research is needed.
Gao, Qimeng, Imran J. Anwar, Nader Abraham, and Andrew S. Barbas. “Liver Transplantation for Hepatocellular Carcinoma after Downstaging or Bridging Therapy with Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors.” Cancers (Basel) 13, no. 24 (December 15, 2021). https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13246307.