1Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, CHA Gumi Medical Center, CHA University, Gumi, Korea.
Sorafenib is currently the sole molecular targeted agent that improves overall survival in advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Despite the efficacy of sorafenib, the response rate varies in patients with advanced HCC. We retrospectively analyzed a series of Korean patients with advanced HCC with complete remission (CR) after sorafenib therapy.
In total, 523 patients with advanced HCC were treated with sorafenib in 3 large tertiary referral hospitals in Korea. A survey was conducted to collect data on patients who experienced CR after sorafenib monotherapy, and their medical records and follow-up data were analyzed. The tumor response and recurrence rates were assessed by radiologic study, based on modified response evaluation criteria in solid tumors.
Seven patients with advanced HCC experienced CR after sorafenib therapy. The median time to tumor disappearance and the median disease-free survival time were 3 months and 9 months, respectively. HCC recurrence was identified in three cases (42.9%). Of these, two patients discontinued sorafenib before or after achieving CR and the other patient continued sorafenib after achieving CR. HCC recurred at 3, 10, and 42 months after CR in these three patients. Three patients needed dose reduction for toxicity and adverse events.
Though CR was achieved after sorafenib therapy in patients with advanced HCC, the recurrence rate was relatively high. Subsequent strategies to reduce a chance of recurrence after sorafenib therapy are required to investigate.