Departments of Oncology, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taiwan, ROC ; Graduate Institute of Oncology, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taiwan, ROC.
Antiangiogenic therapy, especially treatment with sorafenib, is the primary treatment for patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the efficacy of such therapy is modest, with low objective response rates and limited prolongation of survival times. Several researchers have investigated predictive biomarkers to help identify patients who can benefit most from antiangiogenic therapy. The largest study on this topic to date was based on the pivotal phase III study of sorafenib (the SHARP study) and did not find any plasma markers that could predict the efficacy of sorafenib. Other studies based on single-arm phase II clinical trials found some potential predictive markers, such as early alpha-fetoprotein response, the serum insulin-like growth factor-1 level at baseline, and the volume transfer constants of dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging. These findings require validation by further studies. Identifying predictive biomarkers of antiangiogenic therapy for HCC remains challenging and warrants further investigations.