Oncoprescribe Blog: Newer agents for hard-to-treat cancers. Sorafenib to the rescue

November 20th, 2010

It was once Renal Cell Carcinoma and then Malignant Melanoma, but now we are about to conquer Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In the SHARP trial published in the NEJM, patients with Hepatocellular carcinoma were randomized to receive either Sorafenib, a raf-kinase inhibitor or placebo. The outcomes were quite striking. Sorafenib significantly improved overall survival with a 31% reduction in the risk of death.

It is important to realize that patients with HCC already have a damaged liver secondary to cirrhosis and the patients in this study predominantly belonged to  Child-Pugh category A .  Sorafenib is presently being studied in combination with Doxorubicin for the treatment of HCC. As we learn more about the pathobiology of a malignancy, drug development to target the molecular mechanism of the disease is becoming a reality.