Purpose: During the course of cancer treatment, patients whose disease progresses despite therapy are offered alternative options. Similarly, patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) whose disease progresses following arterial locoregional therapies (LRTs) cross over to undergo systemic therapies or participate in clinical trials. Per current guidelines, patients must meet inclusion criteria (most importantly Child-Pugh class A status) to qualify for systemic options. The present study analyzed the candidacy for systemic agents or clinical trials of patients whose disease progresses despite LRTs. Materials and Methods: A total of 245 patients with HCC were treated with LRTs (chemoembolization, n = 123; yttrium-90 [90Y] radioembolization, n = 122) as part of a previously published comparative effectiveness study; 96 patients exhibiting disease progression were followed prospectively. Modes of progression (cancer stage, Child-Pugh class) were analyzed to determine candidacy for systemic therapy or clinical trials, as well as assess ultimate treatment(s) received. Results: Among the 96 patients with disease progression, 52% and 48% had Child-Pugh class A and class B/C disease, respectively, thereby substantially limiting the latter group's eligibility for systemic therapy and/or clinical trials. Of those whose disease progressed who had advanced-stage HCC, 63% had Child-Pugh class B/C disease. By size and necrosis criteria, the local disease progression rate was higher with chemoembolization than with 90Y radioembolization (P =.006 and P =.016, respectively). Of the 96 patients with disease progression, only 13 (13%) ultimately received systemic agents or entered clinical trials. Conclusions: Most patients with advanced HCC that progresses following LRTs were not candidates for clinical trials or systemic agents. There is a need for future research efforts directed at treatment options or novel trial designs that will permit inclusion of patients with progressive liver disease and suboptimal liver function.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine