A study by Tadatoshi Takayama and his colleagues assessed whether the post-surgical recurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is reduced by adoptive immunotherapy.
150 patients who had undergone curative resection for HCC were enrolled in the study.
76 were randomized to immunotherapy-autologous lymphocytes with recombinant IL-2 and antibody to CD3, with 5 infusions over the first six months. 74 were assigned no adjuvant treatment.
Recurrence of HCC at 4.4 years:
There was a median follow-up of 4.4 years.
Adoptive immunotherapy decreased the frequency of HCC recurrence by 18% - from 59 to 77%. It also significantly increased the time until first recurrence.
These results suggest that immunotherapy can lower recurrence and improve recurrence-free outcomes after surgery for HCC.