Research Papers:

Apatinib is effective for treatment of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma

Yinlong Kong, Lin Sun, Zhenyu Hou, Yongqiang Zhang, Ping Chen, Yunlong Cui, Xiaolin Zhu, Tianqiang Song, Qiang Li, Huikai Li, Ti Zhang _ and Lunxiu Qin

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:105596-105605. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.22337

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Yinlong Kong1, Lin Sun1, Zhenyu Hou1, Yongqiang Zhang1, Ping Chen1, Yunlong Cui1, Xiaolin Zhu1, Tianqiang Song1, Qiang Li1, Huikai Li1, Ti Zhang1 and Lunxiu Qin2,3

1Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital, Key Laboratory of Cancer Prevention and Therapy, National Clinical Research Center for Cancer, Tianjin 300060, China

2Department of General Surgery, Huashan Hospital & Cancer Metastasis Institute, Fudan University, Shanghai 200040, China

3Cancer Research Center, Institute of Biomedical Science, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, China

Correspondence to:

Ti Zhang, email: [email protected]

Huikai Li, email: [email protected]

Lunxiu Qin, email: [email protected]

Keywords: apatinib; hepatocellular carcinoma; vascular endothelial growth factor receptor

Received: May 24, 2017    Accepted: September 21, 2017    Published: November 06, 2017


As treatment options for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are currently limited, we evaluated the efficacy and safety of oral apatinib, a VEGFR-2 inhibitor, on patients with advanced HCC. Twenty-two patients from Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital were enrolled for evaluation. Apatinib was administered at 500 mg/day or 250 mg/day continuously. Clinical endpoints were time to disease progression (TTP), overall survival (OS), and safety. The median TTP of treated patients was 10.4 months (95% CI 3.4 -17.5). At the last follow-up, 50% patients had survived longer than 11.4 months from the first dose. Complete response (CR), partial response (PR), stable disease (SD), and progressive disease (PD) rates were 0%, 40.9%, 40.9%, and 18.2%, respectively. The most common apatinib-related adverse events were hand-foot skin reaction (HFSR) (81.8%) and diarrhea (77.3%). Hypertension (27.3%) and HFSR (13.6%) were the most frequent grade 3/4 adverse events. In summary, results of this small study indicate that apatinib is well tolerated and extremely effective for the treatment of advanced HCC. It is therefore imperative to design and carry out well-controlled clinical trials to confirm its efficacy.

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