The outcome of sorafenib monotherapy on hepatocellular carcinoma with portal vein tumor thrombosis

Yuan Hung Kuo, I. Pei Wu, Jing Houng Wang, Chao Hung Hung, Kun Ming Rau, Chien Hung Chen, Kwong Ming Kee, Tsung Hui Hu, Sheng Nan Lu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

32 Scopus citations


Sorafenib is not recommended for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients with Vp4 (portal invasion at the main trunk) by the Japan Society of Hepatology (JSH) due to a risk of hepatic failure. This study aimed to elucidate the safety and efficacy of sorafenib monotherapy on HCC with macro-vascular invasion (MVI). A total of 415 consecutive advanced HCC patients received sorafenib in our hospital. Patients with only MVI and sorafenib monotherapy were retrospectively enrolled. We enrolled 113 (27.2%) patients, including 56 (49.5%) Vp3 (portal invasion at the first branch) and 57 (50.5%) Vp4. Their median intervals of follow-up and sorafenib-use were 7.8 months and 2.7 months respectively. Using sorafenib, more Vp4 had hepatic decompensation (HD) (37% VS 18.2%, p = 0.028) than Vp3 patients. The multivariate analysis showed Vp4 (Odds ratio: 2.91; 95% CI: 1.02–8.3, p = 0.041) and baseline alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) ≥ 200 ng/ml were associated with HD. Dividing our patients into four subgroups as Vp3 + AFP < 200 ng/ml, Vp3 + AFP ≥ 200 ng/ml, Vp4 + AFP < 200 ng/ml and Vp4 + AFP ≥ 200 ng/ml, the proportions of HD were 16.7%, 19.4%, 16.7% and 55.2% respectively (p = 0.002). The overall survival rates were distributed with a significant decreasing trend as 10.2 ± 4.4 months, 6.5 ± 1.0 months, 6.0 ± 1.3 months and 2.5 ± 0.5 months (p = 0.001). We found only Vp4 plus AFP ≥ 200 ng/ml could induce more HD and a poorer prognosis than Vp3 patients. Hence, in Vp4 patients with higher AFP, sorafenib should not be the first-line treatment due to its limited survival benefit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-314
Number of pages8
JournalInvestigational New Drugs
Issue number2
StatePublished - 01 04 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Alpha-fetoprotein
  • Hepatic decompensation
  • JSH guideline
  • Sorafenib
  • Vp4


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