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Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2015;24(8):1075-82. doi: 10.1517/13543784.2015.1058776. Epub 2015 Jun 24.

Novel drugs in clinical development for hepatocellular carcinoma.

Author information

1
Universitätsklinikum Frankfurt, Medizinische Klinik 1 , Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, Frankfurt am Main , Germany +49 0 69 6301 7860 ; +49 0 69 6301 6448 ; trojan@em.uni-frankfurt.de.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Sorafenib is the only systemic drug approved for the treatment of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Within recent years, several investigational agents mainly targeting angiogenesis failed in late-phase clinical development either due to toxicity or lack of benefit.

AREAS COVERED:

This review covers recent clinical data on systemic agents and ongoing trials in patients with advanced HCC.

EXPERT OPINION:

In unselected patients with advanced HCC, disappointing results have been reported from several large trials. However, in two subgroups encouraging results have been achieved. Treatment with the MET inhibitor tivantinib resulted in a substantial survival benefit in the subgroup of MET overexpressing tumors in a randomized Phase II trial. Furthermore, the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 antibody ramucirumab resulted in improved overall survival in patients with baseline α-fetoprotein (AFP) ≥ 400 ng/ml in a Phase III trial. These two agents, and several others, will be further developed in HCC. Moreover, immunotherapeutics such as checkpoint inhibitors, programmed death receptor-1 blocking antibodies and oncolytic viruses are under investigation in advanced HCC.

KEYWORDS:

anti-CTLA-4; anti-PD1; cabozantinib; everolimus; hepatocellular carcinoma; immunotherapy; lenvatinib; oncolytic virus; ramucirumab; receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor; refametinib; regorafenib; sorafenib; tivantinib; trebananib

PMID:
26108356
DOI:
10.1517/13543784.2015.1058776
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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