Hepatobiliary and Transplant Surgery, University Medical Centre Hamburg -Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany Department of Internal Medicine III, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria Department of Medical Biometry and Epidemiology, University Medical Center Hamburg - Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.
Treatment options of recurrent hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) after liver transplantation are limited and data on systemic compounds for advanced tumor stages in transplant recipients are sparse. We retrospectively analyzed the toxicity, tolerability, and efficacy of sorafenib in combination with mTOR inhibitors (mTORi), or calcineurin inhibitors (CNI) in transplant recipients with recurrent HCC. In total, 20 of 92 patients transplanted for HCC within a 10-year time period, experienced tumor recurrence. In case of ineligibility for other treatment options, patients received sorafenib (n = 13). In addition, CNI were stopped and switched to mTORi in nine patients, whereas CNI were continued in four patients. Grade 3-4 adverse events were observed in 92% of all patients necessitating sorafenib discontinuation in 77%. The most common severe adverse events were acute hepatitis, diarrhea, hand-foot - skin reaction and bone marrow suppression. In patients receiving sorafenib/mTORi one patient achieved partial response, and four achieved stable disease. In this cohort of liver transplant recipients side effects prevented full dosing of sorafenib and necessitated discontinuation of sorafenib in the majority of patients, yet antitumor efficacy seemed promising in combination with mTORi.