1Shimonoseki Kohsei Hospital, Kamishinchi-Machi 3-3-8, Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi, 750-0061, Japan, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Effective prophylactic therapies have not been established for hepatocellular carcinoma recurrence. Peretinoin represents one novel option for patients with hepatitis C virus-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCV-HCC), and it was tested in a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.
Patients with curative therapy were assigned to one of the following regimens: peretinoin 600, 300 mg/day, or placebo for up to 96 weeks. The primary outcome was recurrence-free survival (RFS).
Of the 401 patients initially enrolled, 377 patients were analyzed for efficacy. The RFS rates in the 600-mg group, the 300-mg group, and the placebo group were 71.9, 63.6, and 66.0 % at 1 year, and 43.7, 24.9, and 29.3 % at 3 years, respectively. The primary comparison of peretinoin (300 and 600-mg) with placebo was not significant (P = 0.434). The dose-response relationship based on the hypothesis that "efficacy begins to increase at 600 mg/day" was significant (P = 0.023, multiplicity-adjusted P = 0.048). The hazard ratios for RFS in the 600-mg group vs. the placebo group were 0.73 [95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.51-1.03] for the entire study period and 0.27 (95 % CI 0.07-0.96) after 2 years of the randomization. Common adverse events included ascites, increased blood pressure, headache, presence of urine albumin, and increased transaminases.
Although the superiority of peretinoin to placebo could not be validated, 600 mg/day was shown to be the optimal dose, and treatment may possibly reduce the recurrence of HCV-HCC, particularly after 2 years. The efficacy and safety of peretinoin 600 mg/day should continue to be evaluated in further studies.