Targeted therapy for hepatocellular carcinoma: current status and future direction

Author(s): Stephen L Chan, Tony Mok

Following the proof of evidence on the use of sorafenib in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), targeted therapy has become an important element in management of advanced HCC. Novel targeted therapies are designed to inhibit the aberrant signaling pathways or oncogenic mechanism at a molecular level with an aim to improve the clinical outcome. An increasing number of targeted agents have been tested in HCC in the clinical setting in the past few years. This review aims to summarize the current status of clinical development of targeted therapy in HCC focusing on novel agents targeting angiogenesis, signal transduction and epigenetic dysregulation of tumors. The future direction of drug development for HCC will also be explored.