Introduction: Programmed death 1 (PD1), programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1), and cytotoxic T lymphocyte associated protein 4 (CTLA-4) are proteins involved in the modulation of immune response, which are upregulated in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tumor microenvironment (TME). Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) are a new class of drugs that counteract immunological tolerance to cancer cells. Despite the aggressiveness of HCC and its poor prognosis, only a few tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) and ICIs have been approved for patients with advanced disease. Areas Covered: We analyze the current knowledge on Durvalumab, a human antibody against PD-L1 its pharmacodynamics, and pharmacokinetics. We provide a description of its application in HCC, illustrating clinical trials that have demonstrated the safety and efficacy in this setting, either as monotherapy or in combination with other ICIs or TKIs, or as adjuvant treatment. Expert Opinion: Durvalumab is a promising drug that could extend the landscape of approved treatments for HCC. The clinical safety profile of Durvalumab was well manageable and comparable to other ICIs, with a low incidence of severe immune-related adverse events (irAEs). The importance of personalized therapy according to tumor characteristics is emerging, but very little is known about factors that could influence the efficacy of ICIs.
- tumor microenvironment
- immune checkpoint inhibitors