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Cancer Sci. 2008 Jan;99(1):159-65. Epub 2007 Oct 22.

Phase I study of sorafenib in Japanese patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.

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Division of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Medical Oncology, National Cancer Center Hospital East, 6-5-1 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8577, Japan.


Sorafenib is an orally active multikinase inhibitor that targets serine and threonine, and tyrosine kinases that are involved in tumor-cell signal transduction and tumor angiogenesis. This phase I trial was conducted to evaluate the pharmacokinetics (PK), safety, and preliminary efficacy of sorafenib in Japanese patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with underlying liver dysfunction. Patients with unresectable HCC, Child-Pugh status A or B, and adequate organ functions were treated. A single dose of sorafenib was administered, followed by a 7-day wash-out period, after which patients received either sorafenib 200 mg (cohort 1) or 400 mg (cohort 2) twice daily. The PK were investigated after a single dose and during steady state. The efficacy was evaluated using the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors. A total of 27 patients were evaluated for PK, safety, and efficacy. Although both area under the concentration-time curve for 0-12 h and maximal concentration at steady state were slightly lower in Child-Pugh B patients than in Child-Pugh A patients, the difference was not considered to be clinically relevant. Common adverse drug events included elevated lipase, amylase, rash or desquamation, diarrhea, and hand-foot skin reaction. A dose-limiting toxicity of hand-foot skin reaction was observed in one patient (cohort 2). Among the 24 patients evaluable for tumor response, one patient (4%) achieved a partial response, 20 (83%) had stable disease, and three (13%) had progressive disease. Sorafenib demonstrated a favorable tolerability and safety profile in Japanese HCC patients. Moreover, promising preliminary antitumor activity has been observed. Finally, there were no clinically relevant differences in PK between Child-Pugh A and B patients.

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