Objective Multiple therapeutic agents exist for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), but prognostic factors in second-line and subsequent therapies are unclear. Ramucirumab is a molecular-targeted agent effective against hepatocytes with alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) >400 ng/mL after sorafenib failure. We examined the prognostic factors and efficacy of ramucirumab with prior therapy other than sorafenib. Methods In our retrospective multicenter study, 33 patients were treated with ramucirumab for HCC with prior therapy other than sorafenib, including 1 patient who received 2 lines of ramucirumab. We analyzed background factors, liver reserve, the prognosis, and treatment duration and efficacy. Results The median albumin-bilirubin (ALBI) value showed little change during ramucirumab treatment. The ALBI value improved in 32% of patients, and their prognoses were better than in those who did not improve. Response and efficacy rates were not as high as those in the REACH-2 study but were similar when limited to patients with 2,500 ng/mL AFP. Thirteen patients received further treatment after ramucirumab failure and they had a significantly better prognosis from ramucirumab administration and also had a significantly better prognosis from the start of the first tyrosine kinase inhibitor than who did not received further treatment. In univariate and multivariate analyses of prognostic factors, the continuation of treatment with another drug after ramucirumab failure and a good ALBI value at initiation were significant. The presence of a ramucirumab response and treatment duration were not associated with the prognosis. A good ALBI value at initiation and ALBI value improvement during treatment were also identified as independent factors associated with eligibility for further treatment after ramucirumab failure. The treatment line did not correlate with the availability of treatment with another drug after treatment failure. Conclusions ALBI value improvement with ramucirumab treatment allows for subsequent treatment after failure and an improved overall prognosis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Internal Medicine