MK615, a compound extracted from the Japanese apricot "Prunus mume" has been reported to have in vitro anti-tumor activities against several cancer cell lines, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the clinical effects and feasibility of administering MK615 for patients with HCC were unknown. We experienced a case with advanced HCC for which MK615 was effective against both lymph node and pulmonary metastases. A 60-year-old female underwent surgical resection of a 9 cm HCC in the right lobe. The pathological diagnosis was moderately differentiated HCC with vascular invasion. The HCC recurred in the liver 8 mo after the surgery. Radiofrequency ablation and transarterial infusion chemotherapy were performed, but the recurrence was not controlled. One year after the intrahepatic recurrence, pulmonary and lymph metastasis appeared. Sorafenib was administered, but was not effective. Then, MK615 was administered as a final alternative therapy after informed consent was obtained from the patient. Three months later, her alpha-fetoprotein level decrease and both the lymph node and pulmonary metastases decreased in size. The patient has survived for more than 17 mo after the MK615 administration, and was in good condition. Although further investigations are necessary to clarify its safety and efficacy in humans, MK615 may be useful for the treatment of HCC, without serious adverse effects.
Keywords: Hepatocellular carcinoma; Japanese apricot; MK615; Prunus mume.