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Therap Adv Gastroenterol. 2013 Nov;6(6):447-58. doi: 10.1177/1756283X13498540.

Treating hepatocellular carcinoma progression following first-line sorafenib: therapeutic options and clinical observations.

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Assistant Professor, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine and Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC 20007, USA.


Despite the established efficacy of sorafenib in advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a significant number of sorafenib-treated patients experience disease progression. Current guidelines recommend either best supportive care or clinical trial enrollment for this population. As such, there remains an unmet need for tolerable, life-prolonging strategies in the second-line setting. New information regarding the molecular pathogenesis of resistance to antiangiogenic therapy and positive post-progression experience with antiangiogenics in other tumor types has led to trials investigating the effect of continued use of sorafenib, alone or combined with other agents. Trials investigating the effect of switching from sorafenib to alternate antiangiogenic agents, phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase/AKT/mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitors, or cMet inhibitors are also underway. As these data emerge, clinicians may consider a new paradigm for managing advanced HCC. This article briefly reviews the mechanisms of disease resistance to antiangiogenic therapy as a vehicle for discussing clinical strategies to prolong survival in patients with advanced HCC that are currently employed at our institutions or are under investigation. Key ongoing trials investigating the use of molecularly targeted therapies in patients with progressive disease are also highlighted.


angiogenesis inhibitors; hepatitis; hepatocellular carcinoma; liver cirrhosis; targeted therapy

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