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Dr. Abou-Alfa Discusses Treatment Options in Liver Cancer

Ghassan K. Abou-Alfa, MD
Published: Tuesday, Jan 16, 2018



Ghassan K. Abou-Alfa, MD, medical oncologist, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses treatment options in liver cancer.

2017 brought about the FDA approval of regorafenib (Stivarga) as a second-line treatment for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who have previously received sorafenib (Nexavar). The approval was based on the phase III RESORCE trial, in which the median overall survival was 10.6 months with regorafenib plus best supportive care compared with 7.8 months for placebo plus best supportive care, representing a 38% reduction in the risk of death (HR, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.50-0.78; P <.001).

Additionally, there have been impressive data with checkpoint inhibitors such as nivolumab (Opdivo), Abou-Alfa says. Nivolumab was evaluated in a phase II trial, demonstrating a response rate in the range of 15% to 20%, leading to a FDA approval in the second-line setting. The large phase III CheckMate-456 trial comparing nivolumab versus sorafenib in the first-line setting is eagerly awaited, Abou-Alfa adds.


Ghassan K. Abou-Alfa, MD, medical oncologist, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses treatment options in liver cancer.

2017 brought about the FDA approval of regorafenib (Stivarga) as a second-line treatment for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who have previously received sorafenib (Nexavar). The approval was based on the phase III RESORCE trial, in which the median overall survival was 10.6 months with regorafenib plus best supportive care compared with 7.8 months for placebo plus best supportive care, representing a 38% reduction in the risk of death (HR, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.50-0.78; P <.001).

Additionally, there have been impressive data with checkpoint inhibitors such as nivolumab (Opdivo), Abou-Alfa says. Nivolumab was evaluated in a phase II trial, demonstrating a response rate in the range of 15% to 20%, leading to a FDA approval in the second-line setting. The large phase III CheckMate-456 trial comparing nivolumab versus sorafenib in the first-line setting is eagerly awaited, Abou-Alfa adds.



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