Clinical outcomes with atezolizumab plus bevacizumab or lenvatinib in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma: a multicenter real-world study

J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2023 Aug;149(9):5591-5602. doi: 10.1007/s00432-022-04512-1. Epub 2022 Dec 13.


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to compare response rates of lenvatinib and atezolizumab plus bevacizumab, in first-line real-world setting.

Methods: Overall cohort included Western and Eastern hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patient populations from 46 centres in 4 countries (Italy, Germany, Japan, and Republic of Korea).

Results: 1312 patients were treated with lenvatinib, and 823 patients were treated with atezolizumab plus bevacizumab. Objective response rate (ORR) was 38.6% for patients receiving lenvatinib, and 27.3% for patients receiving atezolizumab plus bevacizumab (p < 0.01; odds ratio 0.60). For patients who achieved complete response (CR), overall survival (OS) was not reached in both arms, but the result from univariate Cox regression model showed 62% reduction of death risk for patients treated with atezolizumab plus bevacizumab (p = 0.05). In all multivariate analyses, treatment arm was not found to be an independent factor conditioning OS. Comparing ORR achieved in the two arms, there was a statistically significant difference in favor of lenvatinib compared to atezolizumab plus bevacizumab in all subgroups except for Eastern patients, Child-Pugh B patients, presence of portal vein thrombosis, α-feto-protein ≥ 400 ng/mL, presence of extrahepatic disease, albumin-bilirubin (ALBI) grade 2, and no previous locoregional procedures.

Conclusion: Lenvatinib achieves higher ORR in all patient subgroups. Patients who achieve CR with atezolizumab plus bevacizumab can achieve OS so far never recorded in HCC patients. This study did not highlight any factors that could identify patient subgroups capable of obtaining CR.

Keywords: Advanced HCC; Atezolizumab plus bevacizumab; First-line therapy; Lenvatinib.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Bevacizumab / therapeutic use
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms* / drug therapy


  • atezolizumab
  • Bevacizumab
  • lenvatinib