Dr. Hussein on the Evolution of Treatment in HCC

Atif Hussein, MD, discusses the evolution treatment in hepatocellular carcinoma.

Atif Hussein, MD, chief of Oncology/Hematology Services, Memorial Cancer Institute, discusses the evolution of the treatment paradigm for patients with in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

HCC is becoming a widespread disease in Asian and some other countries due to the prevalence of hepatitis B. In the United States, HCC is becoming an increasingly common condition because of the frequency of hepatitis C as well.

Historically, treatments in HCC were limited to ineffective chemotherapies, says Hussein. In 2007, the FDA approved sorafenib (Nexavar) for patients with unresectable HCC, according to data from the phase III SHARP trial. The results showed an unprecedented 31% reduction in the risk of death with sorafenib versus placebo.

HCC can be difficult to treat because the liver cirrhosis, which is the underlying cause, as well as the cancer itself have to be treated. As such, a multidisciplinary team should be consulted in the management of these patients, concludes Hussein.