Aim: Changes in body composition parameters are important prognostic factors in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) treatment. This study aimed to assess the clinical impact of early changes in body composition during lenvatinib (LEN) treatment on its time to treatment failure (TTF) for patients with advanced HCC. Methods: In this retrospective study, we enrolled 65 patients who were administered LEN as the first-line treatment for unresectable HCC and evaluated the body composition change using computed tomography. We focused on the body composition change after 2 weeks of LEN treatment and assessed its impact on TTF and prognosis. Results: Significant changes in body composition were observed during 14 weeks of LEN treatment. Among these changes, mean-skeletal muscle attenuation (SMA) decreased significantly within 2 weeks (P = 0.004) without symptoms or changes in the other parameters. In multivariate analysis, this early change in mean-SMA after LEN treatment was a significant predictor of time to treatment failure (HR: 2.67, 95%CI: 1.338–5.081, P = 0.005) in patients with HCC. Conclusions: This study revealed that LEN treatment induces a change in the skeletal muscle asymptomatically for a short period, and evaluation of this change may help to predict the TTF of LEN treatment in patients with HCC. Supplemental data for this article is available online at https://doi.org/10.1080/01635581.2022.2049322.
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