Efficiency and Side Effects of Sorafenib Therapy for Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma: A Retrospective Study by the Anatolian Society of Medical Oncology

  • Berk, Veli (Department of Medical Oncology, Erciyes University Faculty of Medicine) ;
  • Kaplan, Mehmet Ali (Department of Medical Oncology, Dicle University Faculty of Medicine) ;
  • Tonyali, Onder (Department of Medical Oncology, Gazi University Faculty of Medicine) ;
  • Buyukberber, Suleyman (Department of Medical Oncology, Gazi University Faculty of Medicine) ;
  • Balakan, Ozan (Department of Medical Oncology, Gaziantep University Faculty of Medicine) ;
  • Ozkan, Metin (Department of Medical Oncology, Erciyes University Faculty of Medicine) ;
  • Demirci, Umut (Department of Medical Oncology, Ataturk Research and Training Hospital) ;
  • Ozturk, Turkan (Department of Medical Oncology, Karadeniz Technical University Faculty of Medicine) ;
  • Bilici, Ahmet (Department of Medical Oncology, Sisli Etfal Research and Training Hospital) ;
  • Tastekin, Didem (Department of Medical Oncology, Necmettin Erbakan University Meram Faculty of Medicine) ;
  • Ozdemir, Nuriye (Department of Medical Oncology, Ankara Numune Research and Training Hospital) ;
  • Unal, Olcun Umit (Department of Medical Oncology, Dokuz Eylul University Faculty of Medicine) ;
  • Oflazoglu, Utku (Department of Medical Oncology, Dokuz Eylul University Faculty of Medicine) ;
  • Turkmen, Esma (Department of Medical Oncology, Trakya University Faculty of Medicine) ;
  • Erdogan, Bulent (Department of Medical Oncology, Trakya University Faculty of Medicine) ;
  • Uyeturk, Ummugul (Department of Medical Oncology, Ankara Oncology Research and Training Hospital) ;
  • Oksuzoglu, Berna (Department of Medical Oncology, Ankara Oncology Research and Training Hospital) ;
  • Cinkir, Havva Yesil (Department of Medical Oncology, Ankara Oncology Research and Training Hospital) ;
  • Yasar, Nurgul (Department of Medical Oncology, Kartal Research and Training Hospital) ;
  • Gumus, Mahmut (Department of Medical Oncology, Kartal Research and Training Hospital)
  • Published : 2013.12.31


Background: Inoperable and metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is associated with a poor prognosis and low chemotherapeutic efficiency. Sorafenib is an oral multi-kinase inhibitor exerting its effects via the RAF/MEK/ERK pathway, vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) and platelet derived growth factor receptor beta (PDGFR-${\beta}$) tyrosine kinases. Randomized studies have shown a significant contribution of sorafenib to life expectancy and quality of life of cancer patients. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the efficacy and side effects of sorafenib therapy in Turkey. Materials and Methods: Data for 103 patients (82 males, 21 females) receiving sorafenib therapy in 13 centers from February 2008 to December 2012 were evaluated. Median age was 61 years and median ECOG performance status was 1 (range: 0-2). 60 patients (58%) had hepatitis B, 15 patients (15%) had hepatitis C infection and 12 patients (12%) had a history of alcohol consumption. All of the patients had Child scores meeting the utilization permit of the drug in our country (Child A). Results: A total of 571 cycles of sorafenib therapy were administered with a median of four per patient. Among the evaluable cases, there was partial response in 15 (15%), stable disease in 52 (50%), and progressive disease in 36 (35%). Median progression-free survival was 18 weeks and median overall survival was 48 weeks. The dose was reduced only in 6 patients and discontinued in 2 patients due to grade 3-4 toxicity, 18 patients (17%) suffering hand-foot syndrome, 7 (7%) diarrhea, and 2 (2%) vomiting. Conclusions: This retrospective study demonstrated better efficacy of sorafenib therapy in patients with advanced HCC compared to the literature while progression-free survival and overall survival findings were comparable. The side effect rates indicate that the drug was tolerated well. In conclusion, among the available treatment options, sorafenib is an efficient and tolerable agent in patients with inoperable or metastatic HCC.


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