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Clinical factors related to long-term administration of sorafenib in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma

Authors Nojiri S, Kusakabe, Fujiwara, Shinkai, Matsuura, Iio, Miyaki, Nomura, Sobue, Sano, Hasegawa, Ohno, Takahashi, Orito, Joh T

Received 30 September 2012

Accepted for publication 12 November 2012

Published 18 December 2012 Volume 2012:4 Pages 423—429

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CMAR.S38684

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4


Shunsuke Nojiri,1 Atsunori Kusakabe,1 Kei Fujiwara,1 Noboru Shinkai,1 Kentaro Matsuura,1 Etsuko Iio,1 Tomokatsu Miyaki,1 Tomoyuki Nomura,2 Satoshi Sobue,3 Hitoshi Sano,4 Izumi Hasegawa,5 Tomoyoshi Ohno,5 Yoshitsugu Takahashi,6 Etsuro Orito,7 Takashi Joh1

1Department of Gastroenterology and Metabolism, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Nagoya, 2Inabe General Hospital, Inabe, 3Kasugai Municipal Hospital, Kasugai, 4Tajimi Prefectural Hospital, Tajimi, 5Social Chukyo Insurance Hospital, Nagoya, 6Chita Kousei Hospital, Aichi-ken, 7Nagoya Daini Red Cross Hospital, Showa-ku, Japan

Background: Sorafenib has been approved in the indication of unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma, but there are many cases in which administration of the drug is discontinued due to severe side effects. In this study, we compared the characteristics of patients who continued and discontinued sorafenib.
Methods: Ninety-six patients (75 men and 21 women) were initiated on sorafenib from July 2009 through September 2011. The patient characteristics of interest included gender, age, etiology, Child-Pugh classification, treatment history and frequency, and levels of α-fetoprotein, des-gamma-carboxy prothrombin, aspartate amino acid transferase, and alanine aminotransferase. Duration of administration of sorafenib and reasons for its discontinuation were compared.
Results: Median overall survival was 11.8 months. Discontinuation of sorafenib within 90 days was identified as an independent prognostic factor for overall survival on multivariate analysis (P < 0.0001). Transarterial chemoembolization performed six times or more (P = 0.013) was also identified as an independent factor contributing to discontinuation of sorafenib within 90 days in multivariate analysis. Patients who received sorafenib for ≥90 days had significantly longer overall survival than those who discontinued it (P < 0.0001).
Conclusion: Prolonged treatment with sorafenib is an important factor in achieving extended overall survival. We recommend starting sorafenib before latent liver damage has occurred as a result of too many transarterial chemoembolization procedures.

Keywords: sorafenib, hepatocellular continuation, discontinuation, efficacy

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