Sorafenib improves survival amongst patients with advanced liver tumours

27 Jun 2008

International research has shown that Sorafenib an orally administered medicine results in patients with primary hepatocarcinomas (liver tumours) living on average 40% longer, compared to those not taking the drug. The study led by the Barcelona Hospital Clinic will be shortly published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

This was one of the conclusions of a scientific meeting organised by the University Hospital of Navarra in Pamplona which dealt with novelties in the systematic treatment of hepatocarcinoma. Doctors from ;the Hospital of Navarra and Cruces Hospital in Bilbao, presented novelties in the systematic treatment of hepatocarcinoma. The medics concluded that the complexity of these patients often suffering from hepatic cirrhosis meant that treatment has to be approached in a multidisciplinary manner.

Hepatocarcinoma is the most frequent hepatic tumour, fifth in overall worldwide cancer rates, and the third cause of cancer deaths in the world. In Spain, as in the rest of Mediterranean Europe, some 10 cases per one hundred thousand inhabitants appear every year – a rate of about 500 cases in Spain annually. In more than half of the cases, local curative treatment, such as surgery transplant or percutaneous ablation, or palliative ones, such as arterial embolisation or radioembolisation with radioactive spheres can be applied. In the rest of the cases the prognosis is not good. However in the last five years medicines are begin investigated with new indications that may help this group of patients.

The European Medicines Agency has recently authorised Sorafenib for use in Hepatocarcinoma given that it can prolong patient survival with manageable side effects.