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Efficacy and safety of sorafenib in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma: age is not a problem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Dimitrios C Ziogas, Dionysios Papadatos-Pastos, Kiruthikah Thillai, Ippokratis Korantzis, Ruhe Chowdhury, Abid Suddle, John O'Grady, Gillian Al-Khadimi, Natalie Allen, Nigel Heaton, Paul J Ross, Debashis Sarker

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-55
JournalEuropean Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number1
Accepted/In press29 Jul 2016
Published10 Sep 2016

King's Authors


OBJECTIVE: Sorafenib is the standard of care for patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), but data on its use in the elderly are inconclusive.

METHODS: All consecutive HCC patients who were treated in our institution with sorafenib since its licensing were included in the analysis. Patients were divided into two groups: (A) up to 75 and (B) older than 75 years old. Our endpoints were overall survival (OS) and time to treatment failure (TTF) because of disease progression or toxicity. Safety parameters and the prognostic effect of HCC characteristics were also investigated.

RESULTS: Data from 190 patients (157 men), median age 66 (26-87) years, were studied (A=151 and B=39). No significant difference in OS and TTF was detected between the two groups [7.1 (5.5-8.7) vs. 10.4 (6.5-14.3) months, P=0.360 and 4.2 (2.3-6.2) vs. 5.6 (3.1-8.1) months, P=0.369, respectively]. Incidence of toxicities at all grades and dose reductions were comparable between groups A and B. In a multivariate setting, patients with Child-Pugh B score at baseline were associated with a higher risk of death (adjusted hazard ratio=2.17, 95% confidence interval:1.24-3.79, P=0.007) and treatment failure (adjusted hazard ratio=4.64, 95% confidence interval: 2.55-8.42, P=0.001) and had shorter OS and TTF compared with patients with a Child-Pugh A (P=0.004 and P<0.001, respectively).

CONCLUSION: Elderly patients with advanced HCC, when treated with sorafenib, have an equivalent clinical outcome with similar toxicity rates as their younger counterparts. Age alone should not be a discriminating factor for the management of advanced HCC with sorafenib.

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