Ghassan K. Abou-Alfa, MD, Highlights Approval of Tremelimumab and Durvalumab in Unresectable HCC


Ghassan K. Abou-Alfa, MD, spoke about the recent approval of tremelimumab plus durvalumab for patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma, based on results from the phase 3 HIMALAYA trial.

In an interview with CancerNetwork®, Ghassan K. Abou-Alfa, MD, an attending physician at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, spoke about the FDA approval of tremelimumab (Imjudo) in combination with durvalumab (Imfinzi) for the treatment of patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma.1

Abou-Alfa highlighted key findings from the phase 3 HIMALAYA study (NCT03298451) that led to the FDA approval, which showed 31% of patients receiving tremelimumab and durvalumab had an improved 3-year survival period compared with 20% of those who were treated with sorafenib (Nexavar).2 Although more research is necessary to improve the treatment of patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma, he indicated that the newly-approved Single Tremelimumab Regular Interval Durvalumab (STRIDE) regimen is a step in the right direction in the management of this disease.


[Hepatocellular] carcinoma is still not a curable disease. As such, it's definitely a cancer with an unmet need, because we did not cure people [only provided an option for treatment]. If anything, the advent of the durvalumab plus tremelimumab [regimen] that we now call the STRIDE regimen based on the HIMALAYA study, is no doubt a step in the right direction for further improvement and survival. However, a response [displayed] can be a complete response and will be [shown] in survival that are matching up to 1/3 of the patients having a 3-year overall survival. This is no doubt a step in the right direction, but by all means, there’s still more work to do.


  1. Imjudo (tremelimumab) in combination with Imfinzi approved in the US for patients with unresectable liver cancer. News Release. AstraZeneca. October 24, 2022. Accessed October 31, 2022.
  2. Abou-Alfa GK, Chan SL, Kudo M, et al. Phase 3 randomized, open-label, multicenter study of tremelimumab and durvalumab as first-line therapy in patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma: HIMALAYA. J Clin Oncol. 2022;40(suppl 4):379. doi:10.1200/JCO.2022.40.4_suppl.379
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