Phase II Study of Sorafenib in Patients With Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, York, NY 10022, USA.
Journal of Clinical Oncology (Impact Factor: 18.43). 10/2006; 24(26):4293-300. DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2005.01.3441
Source: PubMed


This phase II study of sorafenib, an oral multikinase inhibitor that targets Raf kinase and receptor tyrosine kinases, assessed efficacy, toxicity, pharmacokinetics, and biomarkers in advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients.
Patients with inoperable HCC, no prior systemic treatment, and Child-Pugh (CP) A or B, received continuous, oral sorafenib 400 mg bid in 4-week cycles. Tumor response was assessed every two cycles using modified WHO criteria. Sorafenib pharmacokinetics were measured in plasma samples. Biomarker analysis included phosphorylated extracellular signal regulated kinase (pERK) in pretreatment biopsies (immunohistochemistry) and blood-cell RNA expression patterns in selected patients.
Of 137 patients treated (male, 71%; median age, 69 years), 72% had CP A, and 28% had CP B. On the basis of independent assessment, three (2.2%) patients achieved a partial response, eight (5.8%) had a minor response, and 46 (33.6%) had stable disease for at least 16 weeks. Investigator-assessed median time to progression (TTP) was 4.2 months, and median overall survival was 9.2 months. Grade 3/4 drug-related toxicities included fatigue (9.5%), diarrhea (8.0%), and hand-foot skin reaction (5.1%). There were no significant pharmacokinetic differences between CP A and B patients. Pretreatment tumor pERK levels correlated with TTP. A panel of 18 expressed genes was identified that distinguished "nonprogressors" from "progressors" with an estimated 100% accuracy.
Although single-agent sorafenib has modest efficacy in HCC, the manageable toxicity and mechanisms of action support a role for combination regimens with other anticancer agents.

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Available from: Brian Schwartz, Oct 13, 2015
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    • "However, the response rate for sorafenib in HCC is very low (i.e., 2 -3%)[4,5]. Abou-Alfa and associates investigated pERK expression in HCC tissues by immunohistochemistry, and demonstrated that pERK expression is closely associated with the effect of sorafenib[7]. This is reasonable because sorafenib blocks Raf kinase thereby inhibiting the downstream MEK/ERK pathway. "
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    ABSTRACT: The mechanism of resistance of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) to sorafenib is unknown and no useful predictive biomarker for sorafenib treatment has been reported. Accordingly, we established sorafenib-resistant HCC cells and investigated the underlying mechanism of resistance to sorafenib. Sorafenib-resistant cell lines were established from the HCC cell line PLC/PRF5 by cultivation under continuous exposure to increasing concentration of sorafenib. The IC50 values of the 2 resistant clones PLC/PRF5-R1 and PLC-PRF5-R2 were 9.2±0.47 μM (1.8-fold) and 25±5.1 μM (4.6-fold) respectively, which were significantly higher than that of parental PLC/PRF5 cells (5.4±0.17 μM) (p < 0.01 respectively), as determined by MTT assay. Western blot analysis of signal transduction-related proteins showed no significant differences in expression of AKT/pAKT, mTOR/pmTOR, or ERK/pERK between the 2 resistant clones versus parent cells, suggesting no activation of an alternative signal transduction pathway. Likewise, when expression of membrane transporter proteins was determined, there were no significant differences in expression levels of BSEP, MDR1, MRP2, BCRP, MRP4 and OCT1 between resistant clones and parent cells. However, the expression levels of MRP3 in the 2 resistant clones were significantly higher than that of parent cells. When MRP3 gene was knocked down by siRNA in PLC-PRF5-R2 cells, the sensitivity of the cells to sorafenib was restored. In the analysis of gene mutation, there was no mutation in the activation segment of Raf1 kinase in the resistant clones. Our data clearly demonstrate that the efflux transporter MRP3 plays an important role in resistance to sorafenib in HCC cells.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Oncotarget
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    • "These results compare favorably with the sorafenib phase II study conducted by Abou-Alfa et al (17) in patients with advanced HCC; three (2.2%) of the 137 treated patients achieved PR, eight (5.8%) achieved a minor response and 46 (33.6%) achieved SD for at least 16 weeks. The TTP and OS time were 4.2 and 9.2 months, respectively. "
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    ABSTRACT: The standard treatment for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is sorafenib, a multikinase inhibitor of tumor cell proliferation and angiogenesis. Hyperthermia inhibits angiogenesis and promotes apoptosis. Potential synergic antiangiogenic and proapoptotic effects represent the rationale for combining sorafenib with electro-hyperthermia (EHY) in HCC. A total of 21 patients (median age, 64 years; range, 55-73 years) with advanced HCC were enrolled in the current study between February 2009 and September 2010. EHY was achieved by arranging capacitive electrodes with a deep hypothermia radiofrequency field of 13.56 Mhz at 80 W for 60 min, three times per week for six weeks, followed by two weeks without treatment, in combination with sorafenib at a dose of 800 mg every other day. According to the modified Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors criteria, 50% achieved stable disease, 5% achieved partial response and 45% achieved progressive disease. No complete response was observed. The progression-free survival (PFS) rate at six months was 38%, while the median PFS and overall survival times were 5.2 [95% confidence interval (CI), 4.2-6.2) and 10.4 (95% CI, 10-11) months, respectively. The overall incidence of treatment-related adverse events was 80%, predominantly of grade 1 or 2. Grade 3 toxicity included fatigue, diarrhea, hand-foot skin reaction and hypertension. In the present study, the sorafenib plus EHY combination was feasible and well tolerated, and no major complications were observed. The initial findings indicated that this combination offers a promising option for advanced HCC.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Oncology letters
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    • "Sorafenib was the first agent significantly increasing clinical outcome of advanced HCC [21] [22] [23]. A phase 2 study enrolling advanced HCC and Child-Pugh class A or B status indicated a median OS 9.2 months and a median time to progression 5.5 months [21]. Grade 3/4 drug-related toxicities included fatigue (9.5%), diarrhea (8.0%), and hand-foot skin reaction (5.1%). "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients require different treatment strategies according to disease extension, liver function, and patient's fitness. We evaluated HCC multidisciplinary management in clinical practice. Methods: Consecutive patients were followed and treated with tailored medical, locoregional, and surgical treatments, according to disease stage and patient's fitness (age, Cumulative Illness Rating Scale (CIRS)). Activity, efficacy, and safety were evaluated. Results: Thirty-eight patients were evaluated: median age, 74; elderly 92%; CIRS secondary 28 (74%); Child-Pugh A 20 (53%), B 11 (29%); and Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) 0 2 (5%), A 9 (24%), B 10 (26%), C 13 (34%), and D 4 (11%). Overall survival (OS) was 30 months. At 9 months median follow-up, among 25 unresectable HCC, OS was 10 months; BCLC B-D unfit for sorafenib showed OS 3 months. Ten patients (40%) received sorafenib: Child-Pugh A 5 (50%) and B 5 (50%) and disease control rate 89%, progression-free survival 7 months, and OS 9 months. G3-4 toxicities: anorexia, hypertransaminaemia, hyperbilirubinemia, and hypercreatininemia. Limiting toxicity syndromes were 40%, all multiple sites. Conclusion: HCC patients require multidisciplinary clinical management to properly select tailored treatments according to disease stage, fitness, and liver function. Patients suitable for sorafenib should be carefully selected, monitored for individual safety, and prevalently characterized by limiting toxicity syndromes multiple sites.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · BioMed Research International
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