Advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. Review of targeted molecular drugs

Ann Hepatol. Jan-Mar 2011;10(1):21-7.

Abstract

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the sixth most common cancer in the world in terms of incidence, accounting for approximately 630 thousand new cases per year; in addition, HCC is the third most common cause of cancer death. Worldwide, the greatest risk factors for HCC are the infections caused by hepatitis B and C viruses, which increase the risk of developing the disease by about 20 times. The standard treatment in the early stages of the disease, such as surgical resection, local ablation and liver transplantation, are able to cure a proportion of patients, but most cases of HCC present in advanced stages, precluding the use of such treatments with curative intent. In these advanced stages, systemic treatments are commonly used. Unfortunately, chemotherapy with conventional cytotoxic agents is ineffective and does not seem to modify the natural history of disease. Treatment options for patients with advanced HCC are extremely limited, but the identification of signaling pathways, and the recognition of the role of these pathways in the pathogenesis of the disease resulted in the development of drugs directed at specific therapeutic targets. One such drug is Sorafenib, a kinase inhibitor with antiangiogenic and antiproliferative properties. In conclusion, Sorafenib has demonstrated survival benefits in patients with advanced HCC, thus representing a new standard reference for systemic treatment in these cases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Benzenesulfonates / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Liver Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Liver Neoplasms / mortality
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy*
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Niacinamide / analogs & derivatives
  • Phenylurea Compounds
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Pyridines / therapeutic use*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Sorafenib
  • Treatment Outcome

Substances

  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Benzenesulfonates
  • Phenylurea Compounds
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Pyridines
  • Niacinamide
  • Sorafenib