Post-progression survival and progression-free survival in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma treated by sorafenib

Takeshi Terashima, Tatsuya Yamashita, Noboru Takata, Hidetoshi Nakagawa, Tadashi Toyama, Kuniaki Arai, Kazuya Kitamura, Taro Yamashita, Yoshio Sakai, Eishiro Mizukoshi, Masao Honda, Shuichi Kaneko
Hepatology Research: the Official Journal of the Japan Society of Hepatology 2016, 46 (7): 650-6

AIM: Although sorafenib is a standard drug for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), little is known about a patient's clinical course after treatment. We investigated the effect of post-progression survival (PPS) and progression-free survival (PFS) on overall survival (OS) in patients whose advanced HCC was treated by sorafenib.

METHODS: We searched in the PubMed database for reports with survival data of patients with HCC treated with sorafenib monotherapy, and selected reports with 20 or more patients each that provided data for both OS and PFS or time to progression (TTP). Median PPS (mPPS) was defined as the period obtained by subtracting median PFS or TTP (mPFS/TTP) from median OS (mOS). We identified 56 reports with 5803 patients. We investigated the correlation of mOS and either mPPS or mPFS/TTP using weighted linear regression.

RESULTS: Median PPS correlated with mOS (r = 0.834) very strongly, whereas mPFS/TTP did not correlate with mOS as highly as PPS did (r = 0.546). When we stratified survival data by Child-Pugh classification, a significantly greater average percentage of mPPS to mOS was seen in Child-Pugh class A (54.4 ± 17.6%) than in Child-Pugh class B (32.0 ± 11.6%) (P = 0.015).

CONCLUSION: PPS highly correlated with OS, and its importance should be more emphasized for advanced HCC patients treated after sorafenib therapy, whereas we need to take more care in interpreting the results of PFS to evaluate treatment efficacy in clinical trials of advanced HCC.

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