Effect of autophagy inhibitors on treating the patients with hepatocellular carcinoma

Mahgol Moaref dezfouli,1,* Mohammad amin dehghani,2 Fatemeh dehghani,3

1. School of Pharmacy, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran
2. Student Research Committee of Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran
3. Department of Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran



Autophagy is a recent therapeutic target in liver oncology, particularly in the treatment of metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma (hcc), in which acceptance of alternative compounds is of great interest to clinical trials. there exist various commercially pharmaceutical blockers for autophagy process at different stages, importantly the hcc inhibitors such as chloroquine (cq) and hydroxychloroquine (hcq).


The search strategy was implemented on pubmed database in english using the keywords of hepatocellular carcinoma (hcc); autophagy inhibitors; chloroquine; hydroxychloroquine; and treatment.


Autophagy inhibition is under consideration in numerous clinical trials on cancer using hcc alone or in combination with other agents, and some reported promising findings, but limited studies are available on hcc in this regard. the cq present in hypoxic and low nutrient microenvironmental niche has been recently shown to be able to sensitize hcc cancer stem cells to cell death. although it is still ambiguous the clinical application of these autophagy inhibitors, they are considered a strong therapeutic strategy to manage the hcc therapy resistance.


: despite being an area with many unanswered questions, recent discoveries in hcc biology and the autophagic pathway have increased our understanding on the implications and importance of trying to manipulate autophagy during hcc treatment. attained findings regarding the biology of hcc and the routes of autophagy raised the knowledge about the consequences and significance of manipulating autophagy during hcc therapy in spite of many unknowns in this context. it is essential to know on the role of autophagy in the hcc for finding promising approaches in the treatment of this cancer.


Hepatocellular carcinoma (hcc); autophagy inhibitors; chloroquine; hydroxychloroquine; and treatme