Systemic therapy of hepatocellular carcinoma: Are we making progress?

Roxburgh, P. and Evans, T. (2008) Systemic therapy of hepatocellular carcinoma: Are we making progress? Advances in Therapy, 25(11), pp. 1089-1104. (doi: 10.1007/s12325-008-0113-z)

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Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the fifth most common cancer worldwide and the third most common cause of cancer deaths. Surgical resection, with or without transplantation, can result in long-term survival. However, surgery can only be performed in about 15% of patients with HCC and the 5-year survival rate is only approximately 33%-50% after potentially curative resection. Percutaneous ethanol injection, radiofrequency ablation, and transarterial chemoembolization are invasive techniques that have shown efficacy in reducing tumor bulk. Similarly, systemic chemotherapy may induce tumor responses, but a survival benefit has not been clearly demonstrated. In addition, the lack of efficacy of antiandrogens, tamoxifen, and single-agent interferon has now been confirmed. Sorafenib is a multikinase inhibitor with antiangiogenic, proapoptotic, and Raf kinase inhibitory activity. In a large, multicenter, randomized, phase 3 trial there was a significant improvement in both time to disease progression and overall survival with sorafenib compared with placebo. Sorafenib is the first agent to demonstrate a consistent improvement in overall survival for patients with advanced HCC. Further studies are required to determine the role of other molecular-targeted therapies, either alone or in combination with sorafenib in patients with advanced HCC. Further studies are also required to determine the role of sorafenib in combination with locoregional therapies (eg, transarterial chemoembolization), and the role of sorafenib as adjuvant therapy following surgery.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Evans, Professor Jeff and Roxburgh, Dr Patricia
Authors: Roxburgh, P., and Evans, T.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Cancer Sciences
Journal Name:Advances in Therapy

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