Background: The combination of atezolizumab and bevacizumab showed encouraging antitumor activity and safety in a phase 1b trial involving patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma.
Methods: In a global, open-label, phase 3 trial, patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma who had not previously received systemic treatment were randomly assigned in a 2:1 ratio to receive either atezolizumab plus bevacizumab or sorafenib until unacceptable toxic effects occurred or there was a loss of clinical benefit. The coprimary end points were overall survival and progression-free survival in the intention-to-treat population, as assessed at an independent review facility according to Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors, version 1.1 (RECIST 1.1).
Results: The intention-to-treat population included 336 patients in the atezolizumab-bevacizumab group and 165 patients in the sorafenib group. At the time of the primary analysis (August 29, 2019), the hazard ratio for death with atezolizumab-bevacizumab as compared with sorafenib was 0.58 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.42 to 0.79; P<0.001). Overall survival at 12 months was 67.2% (95% CI, 61.3 to 73.1) with atezolizumab-bevacizumab and 54.6% (95% CI, 45.2 to 64.0) with sorafenib. Median progression-free survival was 6.8 months (95% CI, 5.7 to 8.3) and 4.3 months (95% CI, 4.0 to 5.6) in the respective groups (hazard ratio for disease progression or death, 0.59; 95% CI, 0.47 to 0.76; P<0.001). Grade 3 or 4 adverse events occurred in 56.5% of 329 patients who received at least one dose of atezolizumab-bevacizumab and in 55.1% of 156 patients who received at least one dose of sorafenib. Grade 3 or 4 hypertension occurred in 15.2% of patients in the atezolizumab-bevacizumab group; however, other high-grade toxic effects were infrequent.
Conclusions: In patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma, atezolizumab combined with bevacizumab resulted in better overall and progression-free survival outcomes than sorafenib. (Funded by F. Hoffmann-La Roche/Genentech; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03434379.).
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