A phase II study of sunitinib in advanced hepatocellular carcinoma

Maurizio Pompili, Vittoria Rufini, Luca Miele, Lucia Leccisotti, Carlo Antonio Barone, Michele Basso, Marco Biolato, Maria Basso, Anna Maria De Gaetano, Paola Castaldi, Alessandro Iaculli, Laura Riccardi, Antonio Grieco

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista

17 Citazioni (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: In 2007, sorafenib was the first drug able to improve overall survival in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. AIM: In 2005 we designed a phase II study to assess safety and efficacy of sunitinib. METHODS: This is a single arm, open-label, single-centre phase II trial. Eligibility criteria were advanced hepatocellular carcinoma; no prior chemotherapy, performance status 0-1; and Child≤B8. The treatment schedule was 50mg each day orally, 4 weeks on, 2 weeks off. RESULTS: Between 10/2007 and 10/2010, 34 patients were enrolled. A significant worsening of liver functional reserve after sunitinib was observed. Grade 3/4 adverse effects occurred in 80% of patients and included fatigue (47%), nausea (15%), liver failure (15%), encephalopathy (12%) and upper gastrointestinal bleeding (12%). Six patients (18%) died within 60 days of enrolment. A partial response was observed in 4 patients (12%). Median time to tumour progression was 2.8 months and median overall survival was 5.8 months. CONCLUSION: A dose of 50mg/d induces a high rate of severe adverse events. Toxicity remains a key concern also at the dose of 37.5mg/d. However, sunitinib is able to induce a prolonged response in some patients. Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography scans may select good responders.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)692-698
Numero di pagine7
RivistaDigestive and Liver Disease
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2013


  • Alpha-fetoprotein
  • Aminopyrine
  • Methacetin
  • PET


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