Treatment of intermediate/advanced hepatocellular carcinoma in the clinic: how can outcomes be improved?

Riccardo Lencioni, Xiao Ping Chen, Lucy Dagher, Alan P. Venook

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

116 Scopus citations


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a complex condition associated with a poor prognosis. Treatment outcomes are affected by multiple variables, including liver function, performance status of the patient, and tumor stage, making a multidisciplinary approach to treatment essential for optimal patient management. Only ∼30% of patients are eligible for curative therapies (surgery or ablation); palliative treatments include transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) and sorafenib. Treatment choice is guided by staging systems and treatment guidelines, although numerous systems exist and treatment guidelines vary by region. The current standard of care for patients unsuitable for potentially curative therapy is locoregional therapy with TACE. This treatment is associated with survival benefits, but there is no consensus regarding the optimum treatment/retreatment strategy. For patients with more advanced disease or who have failed locoregional therapy, sorafenib is the standard of care. Sorafenib is a targeted agent with proven survival benefits as monotherapy in these patients, and ongoing studies will clarify its role in combination with other agents and in patients with impaired liver function. Although other novel agents and therapeutic approaches are emerging, such as radioembolization and various targeted agents, further suitably designed randomized clinical trials (RCTs) comparing these agents with the standard of care are needed. In addition to RCTs, the collection of real-life data will also be important to allow physicians to make fully informed treatment decisions. The Global Investigation of therapeutic DEcisions in hepatocellular carcinoma and Of its treatment with sorafeNib (GIDEON) study is a global, noninterventional study of patients with unresectable HCC receiving sorafenib. The aim of that study is to compile a large robust database to evaluate local, regional, and global factors influencing the management of patients with HCC. It is hoped that findings from the GIDEON study along with phase III RCT data will lead to better outcomes for patients with intermediate-advanced HCC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-52
Number of pages11
JournalThe oncologist
Volume15 Suppl 4
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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