OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy and analyze the prognostic factors of sorafenib treatment in patient with unresectable primary hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
METHODS: During the period from December 2005 to March 2009, 50 patients with unresectable primary HCC of Child-Pugh status A were treated with sorafenib (400 mg, Bid). The tumor response was evaluated with CT or MRI imaging every 6 - 8 weeks according to the RECIST criteria. The overall survival (OS) and time to progression (TTP) were defined as the time from administration of sorafenib to the death or the last follow up and were evaluated by Kaplan-Meier method.
RESULTS: There was no PR or CR, but 28 patients (56.0%) achieved stable disease. The median follow up time was 15 months with a median OS of 14 months and median TTP of 4 months. The common adverse events were dermal reaction (68.0%, 34/50), diarrhea (52.0%, 26/50), hypertension (4.0%, 2/50), hair loss (14.0%, 7/50), myelosuppression (16.0%, 8/50), and liver dysfunction (20.0%, 10/50). However, most of the drug-related adverse events were grade I-II and reversible. The patients with lower tumor burden and without distant metastasis had better prognosis.
CONCLUSION: Soafenib is effective for unresectable primary HCC with tolerable toxicity. Tumor stage is a predominant prognostic factor.