Why are we doing this research?
This research study is studying an immunotherapy drug (pembrolizumab or KEYTRUDA) as a possible treatment for pediatric hepatocellular carcinoma.
This research study is a Phase II clinical trial. Phase II clinical trials test the safety and effectiveness of an investigational drug to learn whether the drug works in treating a specific disease. "Investigational" means that the drug is being studied. In the case of this trial, the investigators are studying whether pembrolizumab can treat pediatric hepatocellular carcinoma.
The FDA (the U.S. Food and Drug Administration) has not approved pembrolizumab for your specific disease but it has been approved for other uses in adults. Checkpoint inhibitors are in early-phase study in pediatric patients across diagnoses.
In this research study, the investigators plan to investigate whether pediatric patients with hepatocellular carcinoma experience stable disease or response to pembrolizumab. In addition, the investigators would like to explore different biological factors of the tumor and immune system that might help us predict whether pediatric patients with HCC may benefit from treatment with pembrolizumab.
19-338: The Role of Checkpoint Inhibition in Relapsed/Refractory Pediatric Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Clinical Efficacy and Biologic Correlates - A Phase II Study.