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Efficacy of on-demand intrahepatic arterial therapy in combination with sorafenib for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma

Authors Tajiri K, Futsukaichi Y, Kobayashi S, Nagata K, Yasumura S, Takahara T, Minemura M, Yasuda I

Received 22 October 2018

Accepted for publication 19 February 2019

Published 26 March 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 2205—2214


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Ms Justinn Cochran

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Sanjeev Srivastava

Kazuto Tajiri, Yuka Futsukaichi, Saito Kobayashi, Kohei Nagata, Satoshi Yasumura, Terumi Takahara, Masami Minemura, Ichiro Yasuda

Department of Gastroenterology, Toyama University Hospital, Toyama, Japan

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness and tolerability of “on-demand” combination therapy with sorafenib and hepatic arterial treatments, such as transarterial chemoembolization and hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy, in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
Patients and methods: Eighty consecutive patients with advanced HCC, 58 administered sorafenib monotherapy and 22 administered on-demand combination therapy, were retrospectively evaluated.
Results: The disease control rate was significantly higher in the combination group than in the monotherapy group (86.3% vs 51.7%, p=0.01). Elevated alanine aminotransferase levels were significantly more frequent in the combination group (40.9% vs 12.1%, p=0.01), but it was tolerable. Progression-free survival (180 vs 45 days, p=0.045) and overall survival (983 vs 452 days, p=0.004) were significantly longer in the combination group, as was the duration of sorafenib treatment (367 vs 66 days, p<0.001). Multivariate analysis showed that hepatitis C virus infection, disease control, and combination therapy were positive independent prognostic factors for survival, whereas alpha-fetoprotein >400 ng/mL was negatively prognostic. In patients receiving combination therapy, male sex, hepatitis B virus infection, performance status deterioration, Barcelona clinic liver cancer-B, and major vascular invasion were prognostic of survival.
Conclusion: On-demand combination therapy was tolerated and may be a therapeutic option for patients with advanced HCC.

Keywords: hepatocellular carcinoma, sorafenib, combination therapy, transarterial chemoembolization, hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy

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