1 Division of Hematology-Oncology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
2 Hematology-Oncology Section, Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
3 Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
4 Gastroenterology Section, Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a challenging to treat malignancy with few available systemic therapies. Angiogenesis has been implicated in the pathogenesis of HCC and prior studies have suggested a role for anti-VEGF therapy. Prior to FDA approval of second-line therapy for advanced HCC, from 2008 until 2017, we initiated bevacizumab monotherapy (5-10 mg/kg every 2-3 weeks) in 12 patients with intolerance of or progression during sorafenib therapy. Bevacizumab therapy was well tolerated with only 1/12 patients experiencing a grade 3-4 treatment-related adverse event (transient ischemic attack) and only 2/12 patients discontinued the therapy due to adverse events. Median overall survival was 20.2 months (IQR, 7.0-43.5), with a median time to radiologic progression of 10.4 months (IQR, 2.8-16.1) and a disease control rate of 54%. Taken together, our experience provides rationale for further prospective investigation of bevacizumab for the treatment of advanced HCC.