The Functional Roles of Immune Cells in Primary Liver Cancer Academic Article uri icon


  • Primary liver cancer includes hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and cholangiocarcinoma (CCA). Incidence of liver cancer has been increasing in recent years, and the 5-year survival is still <20%. HCC and CCA are often accompanied with a dense stroma coupled with infiltrated immune cells, which is referred to as the tumor microenvironment. Populations of specific immune cells, such as high density of CD163+ macrophages and low density of CD8+ T cells, are associated with prognosis and survival rates in both HCC and CCA. Immune cells in the tumor microenvironment can be a therapeutic target for liver cancer treatments. Previous studies have introduced immunotherapy using immune checkpoint inhibitors, pulsed dendritic cells, or transduced T cells, to enhance cytotoxicity of immune cells and inhibit tumor growth. This review summarizes current understanding of the roles of immune cells in primary liver cancer covering HCC and CCA.

published proceedings

  • The American Journal of Pathology

author list (cited authors)

  • Pham, L., Kyritsi, K., Zhou, T., Ceci, L., Baiocchi, L., Kennedy, L., ... Sato, K

publication date

  • January 1, 2022 11:11 AM