Sorafenib for the treatment of recurrent hepatocellular carcinoma after liver transplantation?

Transplant Proc. 2012 Sep;44(7):1989-91. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2012.06.046.


Background: There are scarce data on the use of sorafenib for the treatment of recurrent hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) after orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT).

Patients and methods: Ten patients were treated with sorafenib after OLT following the Italian Drug Agency guidelines: they had well-compensated liver function (Child-Pugh class A in the case of cirrhosis), intermediate-or advanced-stage HCC, good general condition (performance status 0), and not suitable for loco-regional therapies. Patients with HCC recurrence after OLT were treated with sorafenib (400 mg twice daily). Adverse events (AEs) were assessed using National Cancer Institute Common Toxicity Criteria of Adverse Events (NCI-CTCAE) v3.0 with tumor responses evaluated acording to modified Response Evaluation Criteria in Select Tumors) criteria.

Results: Median duration of treatment was 10 months (range, 2-18). Seven patients (70%) received an additionally targeted therapy with mTOR inhibitors as part of their immunosuppressive regimen. Most common grade 3 AEs included diarrhea (50%), hand-foot skin reaction (30%), and fatigue (20%). Sorafenib had to be discontinued in 3 patients (30%) due to AEs and 4 additional patients (40%) required a dose adjustment. No deterioration of liver graft function occurred. Three patients (30%) stopped treatment due to radiological progression of HCC, whereas 3 are still using the drug. Median time to progression was 8 months (range, 2-16). Median survival from start of therapy was 18 months (range, 4- 36).

Conclusion: Our preliminary results suggest that sorafenib is a safe effective therapy for recurrent HCC after OLT.

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Benzenesulfonates / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Liver Transplantation*
  • Niacinamide / analogs & derivatives
  • Phenylurea Compounds
  • Pyridines / therapeutic use*
  • Recurrence
  • Sorafenib


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