The Combination of Sorafenib With Transarterial Chemoembolisation for Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2011 Jul;34(2):205-13. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2011.04697.x. Epub 2011 May 23.


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 4weeks 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 60years, good performance status (0-1), stable cirrhosis (Child: A 72%; B 28%), unresectable tumour (stage: B 81%; C 19%) and median AFP of 24ng/mL. Median follow-up was 12months and median time on sorafenib was 6months. 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 6months. Overall median survival rate was 18.5months (95% CI 16.1-20.9months).

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

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Benzenesulfonates / adverse effects
  • Benzenesulfonates / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / therapy*
  • Chemoembolization, Therapeutic*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Liver Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Niacinamide / analogs & derivatives
  • Phenylurea Compounds
  • Pyridines / adverse effects
  • Pyridines / therapeutic use*
  • Sorafenib
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Benzenesulfonates
  • Phenylurea Compounds
  • Pyridines
  • Niacinamide
  • Sorafenib