Engineering T cells for immunotherapy of primary human hepatocellular carcinoma

Leidy D. Caraballo Galva, Lun Cai, Yanxia Shao, Yukai He

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Liver cancers, majority of which are primary hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), continue to be on the rise in the world. Furthermore, due to the lack of effective treatments, liver cancer ranks the 4th most common cause of male cancer deaths. Novel therapies are urgently needed. Over the last few years, immunotherapies, especially the checkpoint blockades and adoptive cell therapies of engineered T cells, have demonstrated a great potential for treating malignant tumors including HCC. In this review, we summarize the current ongoing research of antigen-specific immunotherapies including cancer vaccines and adoptive cell therapies for HCC. We briefly discuss the HCC cancer vaccine and then focus on the antigen-specific T cells genetically engineered with the T cell receptor genes (TCRTs) and the chimeric antigen receptor genes (CARTs). We first review the current options of TCRTs and CARTs immunotherapies for HCC, and then analyze the factors and parameters that may help to improve the design of TCRTs and CARTs to enhance their antitumor efficacy and safety. Our goals are to render readers a panoramic view of the current stand of HCC immunotherapies and provide some strategies to design better TCRTs and CARTs to achieve more effective and durable antitumor effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Genetics and Genomics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 20 2020


  • Chimeric antigen receptor
  • Gene transfer
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Immunotherapy
  • T cell engineering
  • T cell receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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