Changes in plasma vascular endothelial growth factor at 8 weeks after sorafenib administration as predictors of survival for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma

Kaoru Tsuchiya, Yasuhiro Asahina, Shuya Matsuda, Masaru Muraoka, Toru Nakata, Yuichiro Suzuki, Nobuharu Tamaki, Yutaka Yasui, Shoko Suzuki, Takanori Hosokawa, Takashi Nishimura, Ken Ueda, Teiji Kuzuya, Hiroyuki Nakanishi, Jun Itakura, Yuka Takahashi, Masayuki Kurosaki, Nobuyuki Enomoto, Namiki Izumi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND A new predictive biomarker for determining prognosis in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who receive sorafenib is required, because achieving a reduction in tumor size with sorafenib is rare, even in patients who have a favorable prognosis. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor is a sorafenib target. In the current study, the authors examined changes in plasma VEGF concentrations during sorafenib treatment and determined the clinical significance of VEGF as a prognostic indicator in patients with HCC. METHODS Plasma VEGF concentrations were serially measured in 63 patients with advanced HCC before and during sorafenib treatment. A plasma VEGF concentration that decreased >5% from the pretreatment level at 8 weeks was defined as a "VEGF decrease." An objective tumor response was determined using modified Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors 1 month after the initiation of therapy and every 3 months thereafter. RESULTS Patients who had a VEGF decrease at week 8 (n = 14) had a longer median survival than those who did not have a VEGF decrease (n = 49; 30.9 months vs 14.4 months; P =.038). All patients who had a VEGF decrease survived for >6 months, and the patients who had both a VEGF decrease and an α-fetoprotein response (n = 6) survived during the observation period (median, 19.7 months; range, 6.5-31.0 months). In univariate analyses, a VEGF decrease, radiologic findings classified as progressive disease, and major vascular invasion were associated significantly with 1-year survival; and, in multivariate analysis, a VEGF decrease was identified as an independent factor associated significantly with survival. CONCLUSIONS A plasma VEGF concentration decrease at 8 weeks after starting sorafenib treatment may predict favorable overall survival in patients with advanced HCC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-237
Number of pages9
JournalCancer
Volume120
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15-01-2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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