No correlation between MASLD and poor outcome of Atezolizumab-Bevacizumab therapy in patients with advanced HCC

Liver Int. 2024 Jan 30. doi: 10.1111/liv.15833. Online ahead of print.


Introduction: It has been suggested that in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) of metabolic aetiology, the efficacy of immunotherapy may be reduced. The aim was to investigate the impact of metabolic-associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD) and metabolic risk factors (MRF) on the outcomes of Atezolizumab-Bevacizumab (AtezoBev).

Methods: We collected data from 295 AtezoBev-treated patients, starting in 2020. MASLD was defined by the current/past presence of MRF, namely BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2 , type 2 diabetes, arterial hypertension or dyslipidaemia and no other cause of liver disease (daily alcohol ≤30 g in males and ≤20 g in females). The influence of baseline characteristics on progression (PFS) and overall survival (OS) was assessed by uni/multivariate analysis using the Cox model.

Results: Risk factors for cirrhosis were viral infection in 47%, excessive alcohol consumption in 45% and MASLD in 13%. In the whole cohort, 27% had 1 MRF, 23% had 2 MRF, 15% had 3 MRF and 6% had 4 MRF. Median PFS and OS were 6.5 and 15.6 months, respectively, and similar in patients with or without MASLD in Log rank analysis. The number of MRF or MALSD was not associated with PFS or OS in the univariate analysis. Factors associated with PFS in multivariate analysis included ALBI grade 3 (HR = 1.60, p = .03), AFP (HR = 1.01, p = .01) and metastasis (HR = 1.77, p < .001). During follow-up, 10% of patients experienced immune-related adverse events, with age and female gender, but not MRF or MASLD, as independent predictors.

Conclusion: Our study suggests that the presence of MASLD or the number of MRF did not lead to worse outcomes in advanced HCC patients treated with AtezoBev.

Keywords: NASH; atezolizumab-bevacizumab; hepatocellular carcinoma; metabolic syndrome; overall survival; prognostic factors.