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Reuters Health Information (2006-03-16): Menatetrenone improves hepatocellular carcinoma outcome


Menatetrenone improves hepatocellular carcinoma outcome

Last Updated: 2006-03-16 16:48:01 -0400 (Reuters Health)

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - For patients who have received curative treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), menatetrenone reduces recurrences and improves survival, the results of a pilot study suggest.

Menatetrenone is an analog of vitamin K2, which has been shown to have antiproliferative effects against leukemia and hepatoma cell lines, the authors explain.

Dr. Toshihiko Mizuta and colleagues from Saga Medical School, Japan, investigated the effects of menatetrenone on disease recurrence and survival in 61 patients with HCC after they underwent curative resection or percutaneous local ablation therapy.

The cumulative incidence of HCC recurrence in the menatetrenone group was 12.5% at 12 months, 39.0% at 24 months, and 64.3% at 36 months, the authors report, compared with 55.2%, 83.2%, and 91.6%, respectively, in the placebo group.

Survival rates were also higher in the menatetrenone group than in the placebo group (100% versus 96.4% at 12 months, 96.6% versus 80.9% at 24 months, and 87.0% versus 64% at 36 months), the report indicates.

Menatetrenone treatment was not associated with any adverse effects, the researchers report in the February 15th issue of Cancer, and no patient was withdrawn from the study during an average 28.9 months of follow-up.

Menatetrenone was beneficial in patients regardless of the baseline level of des-gamma-carboxy-prothrombin (a possible marker of more aggressive tumors that is suppressed by vitamin K2 administration), the results indicate.

"The results from this randomized, controlled, pilot study revealed that menatetrenone possibly may reduce the risk of HCC recurrence after curative surgical resection or local ablation therapy," the authors conclude. "The effect on survival warrants further research; however, overall, chemoprevention of secondary HCC using menatetrenone appears to be a promising option."

Cancer 2006;106:867-872.

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