Institution for Digestive Research, Digestive Disease Center, Department of Internal Medicine Division of Hematology and Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine Department of Radiology, Soonchunhyang University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
Aims: Sorafenib is the only systemic treatment shown to be effective against advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy (HAIC) has been selected as an alternative therapeutic option for advanced HCC. We investigated the efficacy and safety of HAIC as an alternative treatment for sorafenib in advanced HCC. Methods: Between May 2008 and March 2011, 20 consecutive patients were treated with sorafenib monotherapy as a first-line treatment and 21 consecutive patients who could not take sorafenib because of cost were treated with HAIC monotherapy as an alternative. Sorafenib was administered in 400 mg b.i.d. doses. For HAIC, daily cisplatin (7 mg/m(2) on days 1-5) and 5-FU (170 mg/m(2) on days 1-5) were infused every 4 weeks. We assessed overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), objective response rate (ORR) and toxicity.
Results: Median OS was 4.9 months (95% CI, 3.4-6.4) for sorafenib and 7.3 months (95% CI, 4.5-10.2) for HAIC (P = 0.599). Median PFS was 2.0 months (95% CI, 1.96-2.05) versus 3.0 months (95% CI, 1.98-4.02) for sorafenib and HAIC, respectively (P = 0.303). ORR and disease control rate (DCR) for sorafenib were 10.0 and 35.0% versus 19.0 and 38.1% for HAIC (ORR, P = 0.413; DCR, P = 0.837). Patients treated with HAIC more frequently exhibited grade 3/4 neutropenia (23.8 vs 0% for sorafenib), whereas sorafenib therapy showed grade 3/4 hand-foot skin reaction in 10% of patients.
Conclusion: HAIC is a useful alternative treatment for advanced HCC and further prospective investigations are required.