Pexastimogene devacirepvec is under development for the first line treatment of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. The drug is an engineered virus with a gene that promotes the body’s natural response to cancerous cells in the liver. This treatment is administered by injection directly into the cancerous cells in the liver or through the veins. It is designed to selectively target and destroy cancer cells through three different ways: direct destruction of the cancer cells, reduction of the blood supply to tumours and the stimulation of the body’s defense against cancer cells. If licensed, pexastimogene devacirepvec may offer an additional treatment option for patients. Currently, there are few treatment options for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma patients, with only one drug, sorafenib, approved for the first line treatment of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma.
Nivolumab is a type of immunotherapy that is currently licensed in the UK for the treatment of several types of advanced cancers such as melanoma, non‐small cell lung cancer, and kidney cancer. It blocks a protein called programmed death-1 (PD-1), which is found on the surface of a type of immune cells called T-cells. Blocking PD-1 stimulates the T-cells to kill the cancer cells. Temozolomide in combination with radiotherapy is currently licensed in the UK for newly diagnosed glioblastoma in adults. The addition of nivolumab to temozolomide and radiotherapy will potentially offer an additional first line treatment option for adult patients who are newly diagnosed MGMT-methylated glioblastoma.