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Tenofovir Vs. Entecavir On Recurrence Of Hepatitis B Virus‐Related Hepatocellular Carcinoma After Surgical Resection
30 April 2020
Recent studies show that in patients with chronic hepatitis, tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) treatment is associated with a significantly lower risk of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) occurrence when compared to entecavir (ETV) therapy. The cohort study included 1,695 with the average age of 54.8 years and 76.3% were male. 813 patients were treated with ETV and 882 were treated with TDF. At the median follow-up of 37.6 months, 561 patients developed HCC recurrence and 144 died. The TDF group was associated with significantly lower rates of HCC recurrence and death. The team concluded that TDF therapy displayed better overall patient survival compared to ETV therapy.

Evidence Supports Efficacy, Safety Of Sorafenib In Older Hispanic Patients With Advanced HCC
17 April 2020
The frequency of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) has been shown to increase with increasing age across different populations with a peak age of 70 years, and US Hispanic patients have the second-highest rates after the Asian patients. A team of researchers conducted a retrospective analysis of Hispanic patients with HCC and found that there is no significant difference in median overall survival (OS) for older compared with younger patients. The study included statistics from 118 patients with 87 patients younger than 65 and 31 were 65 and older., with each group comprised of more than 70% Hispanic. The team found that the median progression-free survival (PFS) was 4.6 months and the median overall survival (OS) was 10.2 months for the younger group, and for the older group median PFS was 6.2 months and median OS was 13.5 months. Additionally, the median OS was 11.2 months for Hispanic patients vs 8.7 months for non-Hispanic whites.

A New Treatment For Liver Cancer
17 April 2020
Dr. Timofei Zatsepin of Skoltech and a team of researchers from MIT have a new treatment option for liver cancer. Using a siRNA approach, with lipid nanoparticle technology developed in the Anderson laboratory of MIT, the scientists targeted proteins that are involved in apoptosis, a regulated program for cell death. The team notes that only recently, multiple kinase-inhibitor regorafenib and two different check-point inhibitors were approved for patients who progress after sorafenib, but this only increased the overall survival (OS) by 3 months. “Once the mechanism is turned off, the cells become more susceptible to dying. This allows for the chemotherapy to be more efficient, killing more cancer cells, and preventing them from dividing. And although our siRNA reaches all liver cells, the cancer cells are more sensitive, because they are dividing rapidly, so they will be more affected by the treatment whereas normal cells survive,” explained Dominique Leboeuf, Skoltech Ph.D. These results are the tireless effort of a long-lasting collaboration between Skoltech and MIT, led by professors Konstantin Piatkov, Timofei Zatsepin and Daniel Anderson.

Studies Investigate Multiple Types Of Therapies In HCC
16 April 2020
There are currently many therapy and trial options for patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC), as explained by Michael R. Charlton, MD, MBBS, professor of Medicine, director of the Center for Liver Diseases, and co-director of the Transplant Institute at the University of Chicago Medicine. He explains that many drugs are used in combinations for higher effectiveness, such as cabozantinib (Cabometyx) being used with the checkpoint inhibitor nivolumab (Opdivo). He mentions the IMbrave150 trial, which investigated bevacizumab (Avastin) and the checkpoint inhibitor atezolizumab (Tecentriq) in combination. Charlton and colleagues agreed that having guidelines that are actively being updated, so they reflect data as they emerge instead of waiting 1 or 2 years for the field to agree that using a specific regimen is the correct thing to do.

Regular Exercise Could Help Prevent Liver Cancer
15 April 2020
A team of researchers has found that regular exercise activates a gene that suppresses tumor growth of the most common type of liver cancer called Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). The study was performed using mouse models. The team genetically modified the mice causing them to over-eat, become obese and develop type 2 diabetes. The mice were also previously injected with a cancer-causing agent. Half of the mice were allowed regular access to a running wheel, and ran up to 40 kms a day, while the other half were not and remained sedentary. Although the running mice slowed their weight gain, by six months into the experiment, even the running mice were obese. The team observed that at the 6-month mark most of the sedentary mice had liver cancer while none of the exercising mice had developed it.

Sequencing Targeted Therapies And Immunotherapies In Hepatocellular Carcinoma
15 April 2020
The frontline treatment options for patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) include sorafenib (Nexavar) and lenvatinib (Lenvima). Regorafenib (Stivarga), cabozantinib (Cabometyx), and ramucirumab (Cyramza) are all FDA-approved as second-line, or future, treatments. Patients can also receive nivolumab (Opdivo) and pembrolizumab (Keytruda) as follow-up treatments. Doctors agree that the sequencing of treatments remains an important topic in the treatment landscape of HCC. According to Lipika Goyal, MD, “Immunotherapies are available as well and are useful in select patient populations, such as those who rapidly progressed on the tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) sorafenib or lenvatinib, had poor tolerability of the agents, or are unable to receive third-line therapy.” Goyal goes on further to explain that single-agent immunotherapy after someone has already received atezolizumab is unlikely to be effective and encourages these patients to consider enrolling in clinical trials.

Immunotherapy Combinations Emerge As Likely Standard For Future HCC Management
14 April 2020
According to the phase III IMbrave150 study, the combination of PD-L1 and VEGF inhibition may be a treatment for Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). The trial examined the combination of atezolizumab (Tecentriq) plus bevacizumab (Avastin) versus sorafenib (Nexavar). The study included 501 patients with unresectable HCC who were randomly assigned to 1200 mg of intravenous (IV) atezolizumab plus 15 mg/kg of IV bevacizumab every 3 weeks or 400 mg of sorafenib twice daily. The median progression-free survival (PFS) was 6.8 months in the atezolizumab/bevacizumab arm and 4.3 months in the sorafenib arm. The median overall survival (OS) was not reached in the atezolizumab/bevacizumab arm versus 13.2 months in the sorafenib arm.

The Future Of HCC Management
9 April 2020
Ghassan K. Abou-Alfa, MD, MBA discusses with several doctors the future of care for patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). He believes that understanding the etiologies, or the causes, is especially important as well. Ahmed Kaseb, MD explains that is it important for the care team to know how strong both the patient and the liver are before beginning a course of treatment. The next step is to personalize the treatment and choose a combination of therapy and create the appropriate sequencing. Anthony B. El-Khoueiry, MD believes that HCC is a broad disease where the use of biomarkers is key and the breakdown of the molecular subgroups.

Real-Life Analysis Of Nivolumab In Patients With HCC Align With Clinical Trial Data
7 April 2020
Researchers emphasize the importance of early diagnosis and appropriate management of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC), based on the data of a real-life cohort of patients receiving nivolumab (Opdivo). The study reviewed 118 patients from 10 institutions in Spain, with the most common adverse effects including hepatitis C (57.1%) and hepatitis B (11.9%). Corticosteroids were used for the management of most adverse effects. Nivolumab was used as frontline therapy in 7 patients, second-line in 20 patients, and third-line in 15 patients. At the last follow-up assessment, 25 patients remained alive, including 24 patients who continued to receive nivolumab, 17 patients had died, and 17 patients discontinued due to disease progression.

Shenogen Enters Into An Exclusive License With Bioardis To Develop And Commercialise FGFR4 Kinase Inhibitor For Asian Market
6 April 2020
Shenogen and BioArdis have joined into a collaboration and licensing agreement for the development and commercialization of BioArdis' FGFR4 (fibroblast growth factor receptor 4) kinase inhibitor, BIO-1262/SNG-203, to be used as a monotherapy or combination therapy. BIO-1262 is being evaluated as a potential new treatment for Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). Fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFRs) play a key role in regulating cell survival and growth, and many recent studies suggest that they also play a role in cancer progression. Dr. Meng Kun, chairman of Beijing Shenogen Pharmaceutical Group, states, “Icaritin from Shenogen is currently in late-stage of phase III clinical trials for the treatment of advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) as a single agent and in combination therapies. The addition of clinical development of BIO-1262/SNG-203 will strategically solidify our company’s leading position in the field of Hepatocellular Carcinoma treatments.”

Yiviva Announces Dosing Of First Patient In Phase 2b Study Of First-Line YIV-906 Plus Sorafenib Combination Therapy In The Treatment Of Hepatocellular Carcinoma
6 April 2020
Yiviva, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing multi-target botanical therapeutics using a systems biology approach, has dosed their first patient sin their Phase 2b study of YIV-906 in combination with sorafenib in the treatment of patients with hepatitis B-positive Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). YIV-906 is a therapeutic candidate made up of a proprietary cGMP botanical extract of four herbs which are inspired by a traditional Chinese medicine formulation used for over a millennium. Yiviva shows that YIV-906 may have the ability to enhance the anti-tumor activity of sorafenib, protect cells of the gastrointestinal tract, and enhance natural and adaptive immune function. The clinical study is looking to enroll 125 patients within 20 sites in the U.S., mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

MRI Identifies Biomarkers For Aggressive HCC Subtype
3 April 2020
According to a recent study, a team of French researchers has discovered three important biomarkers to heighten the pre-operative detection of the macrotrabecular-massive subtype, an aggressive form of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). Led by Dr. Sébastien Mulé, Ph.D., from Henri Mondor University Hospital in Créteil, the team performed a retrospective study to analyze 152 patients who pre-operatively underwent a liver scan. All the patients had one HCC lesion, which was removed with surgical resection. Among them, the MRI identified 26 macrotrabecular-massive HCCs. The existence of substantial necrosis, high serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) levels, and a more advanced stage of liver cancer were independently associated with macrotrabecular-massive HCC.

FDA Approves Immunotherapy Combination For Liver Cancer
1 April 2020
Based on results from the Phase I/II CheckMate 040 trial, the FDA approved the combination of checkpoint inhibitors Opdivo (nivolumab) and Yervoy (ipilimumab) for people with advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC). The trials showed a response rate of 33% among HCC patients who had been previously treated with Nexavar (sorafenib), a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, which is typically a standard first-line treatment. Opdivo is a PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor that helps the immune system fight against cancer cells. Yervoy is a different type of checkpoint inhibitor that blocks CTLA-4, which turns off immune responses by suppressing T-cell replication.

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