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New Agents Shake Up Treatment Landscape for Patients With HCC

Josep M. Llovet, MD, PhD
Published Online:2:00 PM, Mon June 17, 2019


Josep M. Llovet, MD, PhD, founder and director of the Liver Cancer Program at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and professor of research in the Liver Unit at the University of Barcelona, discusses the evolution of treatment options for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Sorafenib (Nexavar) has remained the standard of care and only treatment option for these patients prior to recent findings.

Previously, sorafenib (Nexavar) was the only treatment option for newly diagnosed patients and remained the standard of care for many years. Lenvatinib (Lenvima) has since demonstrated similar benefits to sorafenib in the frontline setting in patients with HCC in a noninferiority trial.

In the last 3 years, there has been an evolution in terms of new agents for the second-line setting in HCC. Regorafenib (Stivarga), cabozantinib (Cabometyx), and ramucirumab (Cyramza) have also been introduced into the treatment landscape. All 3 agents have been investigated and proven effective in phase III clinical trials compared towith placebo for patients with HCC.

In the frontline setting, lenvatinib (Lenvima) has also demonstrated similar benefit to sorafenib in patients with HCC. Overall, there have been a number of new agents introduced to the treatment landscape, says Llovet.

Over the last 10 years, the only treatment option for patients with HCC had been sorafenib. Over the last decade, many different agents had been investigated in clinical trials to try and find another option for these patients. beyond sorafenib. However, all of these trials turned up negative until more recently. Llovet says the next steps will be determining where research is heading with all of these new agents.
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