Introduction: The aim of this study was to investigate the early changes in alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) and des-γ-carboxy prothrombin (DCP) levels in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) treated with atezolizumab plus bevacizumab and to evaluate the relationship between changes in these tumor markers and treatment efficacy. Methods: Of 58 consecutive patients who started atezolizumab plus bevacizumab at our institution, 50 patients with information on antitumor response obtained at 6 weeks after therapy were enrolled in this study and their treatment outcomes were retrospectively evaluated. Results: According to the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors at 6 weeks, the objective response (OR) rate was 22.0% and the disease control (DC) rate was 78.0%. In patients who achieved OR at 6 weeks, median AFP and DCP ratios at weeks 1, 2, 3, and 6 were significantly lower than those in patients who did not achieve OR. AFP ratios in patients who did not achieve DC at 6 weeks (Non-6W-DC group) were significantly higher than in those who achieved DC at week 6 (6W-DC group). Median overall survival in the Non-6W-DC group was significantly shorter than in the 6W-DC group (156 days vs. not reached, p = 0.0008). An AFP ratio of 1.4 or higher at 3 weeks had a specificity of 88.0% and a sensitivity of 88.9% for predicting Non-6W-DC. Median progression-free survival was significantly shorter in patients with an AFP ratio of 1.4 or higher at 3 weeks than in those with an AFP ratio of <1.4 (42 days vs. 210 days, p = 0.0003). Conclusion: Early changes in AFP might be useful for predicting the antitumor efficacy of atezolizumab plus bevacizumab in patients with advanced HCC. An AFP ratio of 1.4 or higher at 3 weeks might be an early predictor of refractoriness to atezolizumab plus bevacizumab therapy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research