Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Clin Oncol. 2005 Jul 1;23(19):4338-46.

Randomized controlled trial of tamoxifen in advanced hepatocellular carcinoma.

Author information

  • 1Service d'Hépato-Gastroentérologie, Centre Hospitalier, 8 avenue Henri Adnot, 60321 Compiègne, France. jcbarbare001@ch-compiegne.rss.fr



Randomized studies on tamoxifen treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) produced conflicting results. The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of tamoxifen administration in improving overall survival of patients with advanced HCC.


A total of 420 patients with HCC who were not suitable for surgery or local treatment were randomly assigned between April 1995 and May 2000: 210 in the control group and 210 in the tamoxifen group (20 mg/d orally). Patients with WHO performance status greater than 2, belonging to Child-Pugh class C, or with serum creatinine greater than 130 mumol/L were not eligible.


Tolerance was good and the main reported adverse effects were thrombophlebitis (three patients), nausea (two patients), and hot flushes (three patients). Outcome did not differ between the two treatment arms: estimated median survival was 4.8 and 4.0 months in the tamoxifen and in the control groups, respectively (P = .25). Univariate analysis showed significant association of survival with age, Okuda stage, WHO performance status, Child-Pugh class, intrahepatic tumor stage, alpha-fetoprotein serum concentration, and presence of extrahepatic spread, portal vein thrombosis, hepatomegaly, or hepatalgia. In a Cox proportional hazards model we found a significant beneficial effect of tamoxifen on survival in patients belonging to Okuda I or II stages.


In this large study, tamoxifen did not improve the survival of patients with advanced HCC, but there is a suggestion that patients without major hepatic insufficiency seem to have some survival benefit. New trials involving this specific population are warranted.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk