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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2011 Nov;34(10):1193-201. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2011.04860.x. Epub 2011 Sep 29.

Safety and efficacy of sorafenib in hepatocellular carcinoma: the impact of the Child-Pugh score.

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Service d'Hépato-Gastroentérologie, CHRU Lille, France.



Sorafenib increases median survival and time to radiological progression in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma, but its benefit for Child-Pugh B patients remains uncertain.


To evaluate the safety and efficacy of sorafenib in real-life clinical practice conditions and to assess the influence of Child-Pugh class B on safety and efficacy.


All patients treated with sorafenib for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma in our institution were included prospectively. Adverse events, overall survival and time to progression were recorded. A case control study was performed to compare outcome of patients with comparable stages of hepatocellular carcinoma, but a different Child-Pugh class.


From March 2007 to May 2009, 120 patients were included. Overall survival was 11.1 months, Child-Pugh A patients (n=100) had significantly higher median survival than Child-Pugh B patients (n=20) (13 vs. 4.5 months, P=0.0008). In multivariate analysis, Child-Pugh class B, α-fetoprotein level and total size of lesions were independent predictive factors of death. Patients with radiological progression in the first 3 months had shorter median survival (5.4 vs. 17.4 months). In a case control study, time to symptomatic progression (2.5 vs. 3.6 months), frequency of adverse events and discontinuation of sorafenib were not correlated with Child-Pugh class.


Patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma treated with sorafenib had a median survival of 11 months. Sorafenib therapy must be considered with caution in Child-Pugh B patients due to their poor survival. Radiological assessment of tumour progression at an early stage may be advantageous when tailoring sorafenib therapy.

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