Liver Unit, Cardarelli Hospital, Naples, Italy.
Sorafenib is currently the only approved systemic treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma.
to evaluate safety and effectiveness of sorafenib in the field of practice.
We report a single-centre experience on 116 advanced hepatocellular carcinoma patients treated with sorafenib between February 2008 and March 2011. Every 4 weeks, adverse events were graded using Common Toxicity Criteria version 3.0, and every 3 months tumour response was assessed according to modified Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumours for hepatocellular carcinoma.
Cirrhosis was present in 95.7% of patients (83.6% Child-Pugh A class), hepatitis C was the main etiological factor. Median therapy duration was 3 months and median daily dose was 642mg. Median time-to-radiological progression in the per-protocol population was 12 months and median overall survival in the intention-to-treat population was 13 months. 91.4% of patients experienced mild adverse events (grade 1 or 2), the most frequent were gastrointestinal and dermatological. Jaundice and bleeding were the main causes of definitive drug discontinuation. 3-month overall disease control rate was 70.6%: stable disease in 37.2%, partial response in 30.8%, and complete response in 2.6% patients. The 3-month radiological response correlated with overall survival.
In daily clinical practice, sorafenib confirmed its safety and efficacy in hepatocellular carcinoma patients.