Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2011; 34: 205–213


Background  Standard of practice involves using transarterial therapy for multifocal hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) alone and sorafenib only for more advanced HCC, but the sorafenib and transarterial therapy combination may provide greater efficacy.

Aim  To evaluate the safety and efficacy of concurrent sorafenib and transarterial therapy in HCC.

Methods  Consecutive cases of HCC were treated with sorafenib and transarterial therapy, receiving sorafenib 2 to 4 weeks before transarterial therapy. Baseline clinical parameters, adverse events (AEs) and survival were collected.

Results  A total of 47 patients received sorafenib and transarterial therapy. The majority of the patients were male (70%) with HCV (60%), median age of 60 years, good performance status (0–1), stable cirrhosis (Child: A 72%; B 28%), unresectable tumour (stage: B 81%; C 19%) and median AFP of 24 ng/mL. Median follow-up was 12 months and median time on sorafenib was 6 months. LC Bead TACE was used with a median frequency of 3. The majority of the patients (89%) experienced AEs. The most common AEs were fatigue (51%), hand-foot skin reaction (51%) and diarrhoea (43%). Grade 3 and 4 AEs included fatigue (13%) and hand-foot skin reaction (26%). Most patients required a dose reduction (66%). The main AE related to transarterial therapy was post-TACE syndrome (23%). The disease control rate was 68% at 6 months. Overall median survival rate was 18.5 months (95% CI 16.1–20.9 months).

Conclusion  Concurrent sorafenib and transarterial therapy is overall safe with no unexpected side effects and encouraging efficacy that warrants further study.