Cancers of the Pancreas, Small Bowel, and Hepatobiliary Tract
Sorafenib versus hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma: A Japanese multi-center large cohort study.
Background: Sorafenib, approved in Japan in 2009, is the first systemic therapy demonstrated to significantly improve overall survival (OS) in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In Japan, hepatic arterial infusion chemotherapy (HAIC), which directly delivers high concentrations of cytotoxic agents to liver tumors, has been offered to patients with advanced HCC since before sorafenib was approved. HAIC is particularly used in patients without extrahepatic metastases (EHM). This study aimed to compare the outcomes of patients with advanced HCC who received HAIC and sorafenib. Methods: Consecutive patients with advanced HCC who received sorafenib or HAIC as the first-line systemic therapy were enrolled from 10 Japanese centers. The statistical analysis plan included pre-defined propensity score matching method and risk factors. All statistical analyses were performed by an independent biostatistician. Results: Between June 2009 and May 2016, 2006 patients were enrolled (sorafenib: 1465 patients, HAIC: 541 patients). The mean OS of patients with macrovascular invasion (MVI) and without EHM was significant longer in the HAIC group compared with the sorafenib group. After propensity score matching, there were 172 patients in each cohort. The OS was 9.1 months for the sorafenib group and 10.1 months for the HAIC group (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.668 [95% CI: 0.475–0.935], P = 0.018). There was no significant difference in OS between patients without both MVI and EHM. After propensity score matching, there were 76 patients in each cohort. The OS was 15.4 months for the sorafenib group and 12.2 months for the HAIC group (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.227 [95% CI: 0.699–2.155], P = 0.475). Conclusions: HAIC might be a potential initial treatment for patients with advanced HCC with MVI (without EHM). Currently, several new drugs appear clinically beneficial for patients with advanced HCC. Although this study only focused on sorafenib as the chemo-agent, additional studies should be conducted to confirm the benefits associated with HAIC in a limited population of patients with advanced HCC.