The hypervascular nature of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is well characterized. Recent data have suggested that thalidomide possesses antiangiogenic and immunomodulatory activity. Therefore, the authors initiated a study to assess the efficacy and toxicity of thalidomide in patients with advanced HCC as primary and secondary endpoints, respectively.Inclusion criteria were unresectable HCC with bidimentionally measurable disease, age > or = 18 years, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status < or = 2, and adequate organ function. Thalidomide was administered at a starting dose of 200 mg per day in a 100-mg-per-week dose escalation regimen, up to the maximum tolerated dose or to 800 mg per day. Toxicity was monitored according to the National Cancer Institute Common Toxicity Criteria.Twenty-six of 27 patients were eligible and assessable for toxicity and response. A median daily dose of 300 mg was achieved. One patient experienced near-complete recovery of alpha-fetoprotein levels and a partial radiographic response on computed tomography. Two patients had stable disease during the 16-week study period. The median duration of progression-free survival was 42 days. The overall median survival was 123 days. Fatigue and somnolence were the most common side effects, occurring in 81% and 62% of patients, respectively. No Grade 4 hematologic toxicity was observed. Three patients experienced Grade 4 hepatic toxicity (namely, hyperbilirubinemia).With gradual dose escalation, thalidomide was tolerated in most patients with advanced HCC. However, treatment with thalidomide alone was associated with only a modest response in the treatment of HCC.
View details for DOI 10.1002/cncr.20732
View details for Web of Science ID 000226237000015
View details for PubMedID 15565573