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Rev Esp Enferm Dig. 2020 Feb 5;112. doi: 10.17235/reed.2020.6458/2019. [Epub ahead of print]

The efficacy of sorafenib in preventing hepatocellular carcinoma recurrence after resection: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

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Hepatobiliary Surgery, Peking University People's Hospital.
Hepatobiliary Surgery, Peking University People's Hospital, China.



hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) recurrence after liver resection remains a major threat for patients' survival. Sorafenib is recommended as an adjuvant treatment for patients after a liver resection. The objective of this meta-analysis was to estimate the therapeutic value of sorafenib in patients who underwent a HCC resection.


relevant reports were retrieved from electronic databases. All eligible studies were carefully reviewed and the required data were extracted. Outcome with regard to overall survival (OS), recurrence-free survival (RFS), recurrence rate, mortality rate, OS time (months) and RFS time (months) were analyzed.


nine trials were included. The results of the meta-analysis revealed that sorafenib did not exert a significant superior effect on OS (sorafenib as reference: hazard ratio [HR] = 2.15; 95% CI, 0.91-5.08, p = 0.80; control as reference: HR = 0.56; 95% CI, 0.31-1.02; p = 0.059), OS time in months (weighted mean differences [WMD] = 4.96; 95% CI, -1.21-11.13; p = 0.115) and RFS time in months (WMD = 7.58; 95% CI, -1.36-16.53; p = 0.097). Nevertheless, the use of sorafenib was associated with a significantly higher RFS (HR = 0.53; 95% CI, 0.31-0.90; p = 0.018), and a lower recurrence rate (risk ratio [RR] = 0.72; 95% CI, 0.60-0.86; p < 0.001) and mortality rate (RR = 0.74; 95% CI, 0.57-0.95; p = 0.20).


according to the present meta-analysis, sorafenib showed a significant benefit in RFS, recurrence rate and mortality rate. The effect of sorafenib for the prevention of HCC recurrence seems to be encouraging. However, more evidence is still needed before reaching a definitive conclusion.

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