OBJECTIVE: Sorafenib is the only drug that has shown a survival benefit in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma in randomized Phase 3 trials. The efficacy and safety of sorafenib in the treatment of recurrent hepatocellular carcinoma after liver transplantation, however, has not been determined.
METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed 13 patients who were treated with sorafenib for recurrent hepatocellular carcinoma after liver transplantation.
RESULTS: The median time to recurrence from liver transplantation was 12.3 months (95% confidence interval: 8.5-16.1 months). Six of 10 evaluable patients showed stable disease, which was the best response and the median duration of stabilization was 3.9 months (95% confidence interval: 1.6-6.2 months). At a median follow-up duration of 3.7 months (range: 0.3-10.9 months) in surviving patients, the median time to progression and the median overall survival from commencement of sorafenib were 2.9 months (95% confidence interval: 0.0-6.8 months) and 5.4 months (95% confidence interval: 3.7-7.0 months), respectively. Grade 3 neutropenia was observed in one patient, which was the only high-grade hematologic toxicity observed. Grade 3 hand-foot skin reactions were observed in three patients. Adverse events could be managed with dose adjustment.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that sorafenib may be a feasible treatment option regarding its efficacy and safety for recurrent hepatocellular carcinoma after liver transplantation.