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Safety and efficacy of cytotoxic chemotherapy in hepatocellular carcinoma after first-line treatment with sorafenib.

BMC Cancer; 18(1): 1250, 2018 Dec 13.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30545331


Before the targeted therapies era, cytotoxic chemotherapy (CCT) was an option for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), even with the lack of supporting evidence. Since the last decade, sorafenib has been established as the first-line therapy. Although new agents are being incorporated, CCT is still considered in regions where new drugs are not available or for patients who progressed through the approved therapies and remain in good clinical condition. We aimed to describe our experience regarding the use of CCT as second-line treatment after sorafenib.


A database of 273 patients was evaluated. Patients that received CCT after sorafenib progression were selected for the analysis. Descriptive statistics was used for categorical and continue variables. Median survival was estimated with Kaplan-Meier curves. Variables were found to be significant if the two-sided p value was ≤ 0.05 on multivariate testing using the Cox regression model.


Forty-five patients received CCT; 33 (73.3%) had Child-Pugh classification A, and 34 (75.6%) had stage C according to the Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) staging system. The most used regimen was doxorubicin in 25 patients (55.6%). Median overall survival (OS) was 8.05 months (95% confidence interval [CI] 2.73 - 9.88 months). The 6-month and 1-year survival probability was 52.4% and 27.36%, respectively. Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status (ECOG PS) 0-1 and disease control with sorafenib was independently associated with better OS in patients treated with CCT. Any-grade toxicities were observed in 82.2% and grade 3-4 in 44.4% of the patients.


In accordance with previous studies, CCT had a notable rate of adverse events. The poor prognosis of this cohort suggests that CCT may not alter the natural history of HCC after sorafenib progression.