Hepatitis Status May Impact HCC Treatment Efficacy

Findings in meta-analysis of individual patient data for advanced unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma
Findings in meta-analysis of individual patient data for advanced unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma

HealthDay News — For patients with advanced unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma, the effect of sorafenib on overall survival (OS) is dependent on patients' hepatitis status, according to a meta-analysis published online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Richard Jackson, from the Liverpool Cancer Trials Unit in the United Kingdom, and colleagues undertook an individual patient data meta-analysis of three prospective randomized trials in which sorafenib was the control arm. Data were included for 1,643 patients with advanced unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma who received sorafenib. 

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The researchers found that patients who were both hepatitis B virus (HBV) negative and hepatitis C virus (HCV) positive had improved OS for sorafenib (log [hazard ratio], −0.27). In this subgroup, the median unadjusted survival was 12.6 and 10.2 months for sorafenib and other treatments, respectively. Other patient subgroups defined by HBV and HCV did not have improvement in OS. Consistent results were seen across all trials.

"There is consistent evidence that the effect of sorafenib on OS is dependent on patients' hepatitis status," the authors write. "There is an improved OS for patients negative for HBV and positive for HCV when treated with sorafenib."

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry; Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pfizer, and AbbVie gave access to data from studies in which they acted as sponsor.

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