Source Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.
PURPOSE To evaluate safety and efficacy of combined transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) with doxorubicin-eluting beads (DEB) and sorafenib in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
PATIENTS AND METHODSA prospective single-center phase II study was undertaken involving patients with unresectable HCC. The protocol involved sorafenib 400 mg twice per day combined with DEB-TACE. Safety and response were assessed.
RESULTS: mean age, 63 years; Child's A, 89%; Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer stage C, 64%; Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 and 1, 46% and 54%, respectively; and mean index tumor size, 7.7 cm (standard deviation, ± 4.2 cm). Patients underwent 128 cycles of therapy (sorafenib plus DEB-TACE, 60 cycles; sorafenib alone, 68 cycles). Median number of cycles per patient was two (range, one to five cycles); median number of days treated with sorafenib was 71 (range, 4 to 620 days). The most common toxicities during cycle one were fatigue (94%), anorexia (67%), alterations in liver enzymes (64%), and dermatologic adverse effects (48%). Although most patients experienced at least one grade 3 to 4 toxicity, most toxicities were minor (grade 1 to 2, 83% v grade 3 to 4, 17%). Toxicity during cycle two was decreased. Over the course of the study, there were 40 sorafenib dose interruptions and 25 sorafenib dose reductions. Sorafenib plus DEB-TACE was associated with a disease control rate of 95% (Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors Group)/100% (European Association for the Study of the Liver [EASL]), with an objective response of 58% (EASL).
CONCLUSION The combination of sorafenib and DEB-TACE in patients with unresectable HCC is well tolerated and safe, with most toxicities related to sorafenib. Toxicity is manageable with dose adjustment of sorafenib. Preliminary efficacy data are promising.