Background: The combination of bevacizumab (B) and erlotinib (E) has shown promising clinical outcomes as the first-line treatment of advanced HCC patients. We aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of using combination of B + E in treating advanced HCC patients who had failed prior sorafenib treatment.
Methods: Eligible advanced HCC patients with documented radiological evidence of disease progression with sorafenib treatment were recruited. All patients received bevacizumab(B) at 10 mg/kg every 2 weeks with erlotinib(E) at 150 mg daily for a maximum of 6 cycles. Response assessments using both RECIST and modified RECIST criteria were performed after every 6 weeks. The primary endpoint was clinical benefit (CB) rate and a Simon two-stage design was employed.
Results: The trial was halted in the first stage according to the pre-set statistical criteria with 10 patients recruited. The median age was 47 years (range, 28-61) and all patients were in ECOG performance status 1. Eighty percent of patients were chronic hepatitis B carriers and all patients had Child A cirrhosis. Among these 10 patients, none of the enrolled patients achieved response or stable disease. The median time-to-progression was 1.81 months (95 % confidence interval [C.I.], 1.08-1.74 months) and overall survival was 4.37 months (95 % C.I., 1.08-11.66 months). Rash (70 %), diarrhea (50 %) and malaise (40 %) were the most commonly encountered toxicities.
Conclusion: The combination of B + E was well tolerated but had no activity in an unselected sorafenib-refractory advanced HCC population. Condensed abstract The combination of bevacizumab and erlotinib had no clinical activity in sorafenib-refractory HCC population.