Sorafenib is the recommended treatment for patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. We aimed to compare the efficacy and safety of sorafenib to that of selective internal radiotherapy (SIRT) with yttrium-90 ( Y) resin microspheres in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma. SARAH was a multicentre, open-label, randomised, controlled, investigator-initiated, phase 3 trial done at 25 centres specialising in liver diseases in France. Patients were eligible if they were aged at least 18 years with a life expectancy greater than 3 months, had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status of 0 or 1, Child-Pugh liver function class A or B score of 7 or lower, and locally advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer [BCLC] stage C), or new hepatocellular carcinoma not eligible for surgical resection, liver transplantation, or thermal ablation after a previously cured hepatocellular carcinoma (cured by surgery or thermoablative therapy), or hepatocellular carcinoma with two unsuccessful rounds of transarterial chemoembolisation. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) by a permutated block method with block sizes two and four to receive continuous oral sorafenib (400 mg twice daily) or SIRT with Y-loaded resin microspheres 2–5 weeks after randomisation. Patients were stratified according to randomising centre, ECOG performance status, previous transarterial chemoembolisation, and presence of macroscopic vascular invasion. The primary endpoint was overall survival. Analyses were done on the intention-to-treat population; safety was assessed in all patients who received at least one dose of sorafenib or underwent at least one of the SIRT work-up exams. This study has been completed and the final results are reported here. The trial is registered with , number . Between Dec 5, 2011, and March 12, 2015, 467 patients were randomly assigned; after eight patients withdrew consent, 237 were assigned to SIRT and 222 to sorafenib. In the SIRT group, 53 (22%) of 237 patients did not receive SIRT; 26 (49%) of these 53 patients were treated with sorafenib. Median follow-up was 27·9 months (IQR 21·9–33·6) in the SIRT group and 28·1 months (20·0–35·3) in the sorafenib group. Median overall survival was 8·0 months (95% CI 6·7–9·9) in the SIRT group versus 9·9 months (8·7–11·4) in the sorafenib group (hazard ratio 1·15 [95% CI 0·94–1·41] for SIRT sorafenib; p=0·18). In the safety population, at least one serious adverse event was reported in 174 (77%) of 226 patients in the SIRT group and in 176 (82%) of 216 in the sorafenib group. The most frequent grade 3 or worse treatment-related adverse events were fatigue (20 [9%] 41 [19%]), liver dysfunction (25 [11%] 27 [13%]), increased laboratory liver values (20 [9%] 16 [7%]), haematological abnormalities (23 [10%] 30 [14%]), diarrhoea (three [1%] 30 [14%]), abdominal pain (six [3%] 14 [6%]), increased creatinine (four [2%] 12 [6%]), and hand-foot skin reaction (one [<1%] 12 [6%]). 19 deaths in the SIRT group and 12 in the sorafenib group were deemed to be treatment related. In patients with locally advanced or intermediate-stage hepatocellular carcinoma after unsuccessful transarterial chemoembolisation, overall survival did not significantly differ between the two groups. Quality of life and tolerance might help when choosing between the two treatments. Sirtex Medical Inc.
Summary Background Patients with radioactive iodine (131 I)-refractory locally advanced or metastatic differentiated thyroid cancer have a poor prognosis because of the absence of effective treatment options. In this study, we assessed the efficacy and safety of orally administered sorafenib in the treatment of patients with this type of cancer. Methods In this multicentre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3 trial (DECISION), we investigated sorafenib (400 mg orally twice daily) in patients with radioactive iodine-refractory locally advanced or metastatic differentiated thyroid cancer that had progressed within the past 14 months. Adult patients (≥18 years of age) with this type of cancer were enrolled from 77 centres in 18 countries. To be eligible for inclusion, participants had to have at least one measurable lesion by CT or MRI according to Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumors (RECIST); Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status 0–2; adequate bone marrow, liver, and renal function; and serum thyroid-stimulating hormone concentration lower than 0·5 mIU/L. An interactive voice response system was used to randomly allocate participants in a 1:1 ratio to either sorafenib or matching placebo. Patients, investigators, and the study sponsor were masked to treatment assignment. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival, assessed every 8 weeks by central independent review. Analysis was by intention to treat. Patients in the placebo group could cross over to open-label sorafenib upon disease progression. Archival tumour tissue was examined for BRAF and RAS mutations, and serum thyroglobulin was measured at baseline and at each visit. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov , number NCT00984282 , and with the EU Clinical Trials Register, number EudraCT 2009–012007–25. Findings Patients were randomly allocated on a 1:1 basis to sorafenib or placebo. The intention-to-treat population comprised 417 patients (207 in the sorafenib group and 210 in the placebo group) and the safety population was 416 patients (207 in the sorafenib group and 209 in the placebo group). Median progression-free survival was significantly longer in the sorafenib group (10·8 months) than in the placebo group (5·8 months; hazard ratio [HR] 0·59, 95% CI 0·45–0·76; p<0·0001). Progression-free survival improved in all prespecified clinical and genetic biomarker subgroups, irrespective of mutation status. Adverse events occurred in 204 of 207 (98·6%) patients receiving sorafenib during the double-blind period and in 183 of 209 (87·6%) patients receiving placebo. Most adverse events were grade 1 or 2. The most frequent treatment-emergent adverse events in the sorafenib group were hand–foot skin reaction (76·3%), diarrhoea (68·6%), alopecia (67·1%), and rash or desquamation (50·2%). Interpretation Sorafenib significantly improved progression-free survival compared with placebo in patients with progressive radioactive iodine-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer. Adverse events were consistent with the known safety profile of sorafenib. These results suggest that sorafenib is a new treatment option for patients with progressive radioactive iodine-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer. Funding Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals and Onyx Pharmaceuticals (an Amgen subsidiary).
Summary Background There are no systemic treatments for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) whose disease progresses during sorafenib treatment. We aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of regorafenib in patients with HCC who have progressed during sorafenib treatment. Methods In this randomised, double-blind, parallel-group, phase 3 trial done at 152 sites in 21 countries, adults with HCC who tolerated sorafenib (≥400 mg/day for ≥20 of last 28 days of treatment), progressed on sorafenib, and had Child-Pugh A liver function were enrolled. Participants were randomly assigned (2:1) by a computer-generated randomisation list and interactive voice response system and stratified by geographical region, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status, macrovascular invasion, extrahepatic disease, and α-fetoprotein level to best supportive care plus oral regorafenib 160 mg or placebo once daily during weeks 1–3 of each 4-week cycle. Investigators, patients, and the funder were masked to treatment assignment. The primary endpoint was overall survival (defined as time from randomisation to death due to any cause) and analysed by intention to treat. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov , number NCT01774344. Findings Between May 14, 2013, and Dec 31, 2015, 843 patients were screened, of whom 573 were enrolled and randomised (379 to regorafenib and 194 to placebo; population for efficacy analyses), and 567 initiated treatment (374 received regorafenib and 193 received placebo; population for safety analyses). Regorafenib improved overall survival with a hazard ratio of 0·63 (95% CI 0·50–0·79; one-sided p<0·0001); median survival was 10·6 months (95% CI 9·1–12·1) for regorafenib versus 7·8 months (6·3–8·8) for placebo. Adverse events were reported in all regorafenib recipients (374 [100%] of 374) and 179 (93%) of 193 placebo recipients. The most common clinically relevant grade 3 or 4 treatment-emergent events were hypertension (57 patients [15%] in the regorafenib group vs nine patients [5%] in the placebo group), hand–foot skin reaction (47 patients [13%] vs one [1%]), fatigue (34 patients [9%] vs nine patients [5%]), and diarrhoea (12 patients [3%] vs no patients). Of the 88 deaths (grade 5 adverse events) reported during the study (50 patients [13%] assigned to regorafenib and 38 [20%] assigned to placebo), seven (2%) were considered by the investigator to be related to study drug in the regorafenib group and two (1%) in the placebo group, including two patients (1%) with hepatic failure in the placebo group. Interpretation Regorafenib is the only systemic treatment shown to provide survival benefit in HCC patients progressing on sorafenib treatment. Future trials should explore combinations of regorafenib with other systemic agents and third-line treatments for patients who fail or who do not tolerate the sequence of sorafenib and regorafenib. Funding Bayer.
In a phase 2 trial, lenvatinib, an inhibitor of VEGF receptors 1–3, FGF receptors 1–4, PDGF receptor α, RET, and KIT, showed activity in hepatocellular carcinoma. We aimed to compare overall survival in patients treated with lenvatinib versus sorafenib as a first-line treatment for unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma. This was an open-label, phase 3, multicentre, non-inferiority trial that recruited patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma, who had not received treatment for advanced disease, at 154 sites in 20 countries throughout the Asia-Pacific, European, and North American regions. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) via an interactive voice–web response system—with region; macroscopic portal vein invasion, extrahepatic spread, or both; Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status; and bodyweight as stratification factors—to receive oral lenvatinib (12 mg/day for bodyweight ≥60 kg or 8 mg/day for bodyweight <60 kg) or sorafenib 400 mg twice-daily in 28-day cycles. The primary endpoint was overall survival, measured from the date of randomisation until the date of death from any cause. The efficacy analysis followed the intention-to-treat principle, and only patients who received treatment were included in the safety analysis. The non-inferiority margin was set at 1·08. The trial is registered with , number . Between March 1, 2013 and July 30, 2015, 1492 patients were recruited. 954 eligible patients were randomly assigned to lenvatinib (n=478) or sorafenib (n=476). Median survival time for lenvatinib of 13·6 months (95% CI 12·1–14·9) was non-inferior to sorafenib (12·3 months, 10·4–13·9; hazard ratio 0·92, 95% CI 0·79–1·06), meeting criteria for non-inferiority. The most common any-grade adverse events were hypertension (201 [42%]), diarrhoea (184 [39%]), decreased appetite (162 [34%]), and decreased weight (147 [31%]) for lenvatinib, and palmar-plantar erythrodysaesthesia (249 [52%]), diarrhoea (220 [46%]), hypertension (144 [30%]), and decreased appetite (127 [27%]) for sorafenib. Lenvatinib was non-inferior to sorafenib in overall survival in untreated advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. The safety and tolerability profiles of lenvatinib were consistent with those previously observed. Eisai Inc.
Summary Background There is no standard of care for adjuvant therapy for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma. This trial was designed to assess the efficacy and safety of sorafenib versus placebo as adjuvant therapy in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma after surgical resection or local ablation. Methods We undertook this phase 3, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma with a complete radiological response after surgical resection (n=900) or local ablation (n=214) in 202 sites (hospitals and research centres) in 28 countries. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive 400 mg oral sorafenib or placebo twice a day, for a maximum of 4 years, according to a block randomisation scheme (block size of four) using an interactive voice-response system. Patients were stratified by curative treatment, geography, Child-Pugh status, and recurrence risk. The primary outcome was recurrence-free survival assessed after database cut-off on Nov 29, 2013. We analysed efficacy in the intention-to-treat population and safety in randomly assigned patients receiving at least one study dose. The final analysis is reported. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov , number NCT00692770. Findings We screened 1602 patients between Aug 15, 2008, and Nov 17, 2010, and randomly assigned 1114 patients. Of 556 patients in the sorafenib group, 553 (>99%) received the study treatment and 471 (85%) terminated treatment. Of 558 patients in the placebo group, 554 (99%) received the study treatment and 447 (80%) terminated treatment. Median duration of treatment and mean daily dose were 12·5 months (IQR 2·6–35·8) and 577 mg per day (SD 212·8) for sorafenib, compared with 22·2 months (8·1–38·8) and 778·0 mg per day (79·8) for placebo. Dose modification was reported for 497 (89%) of 559 patients in the sorafenib group and 206 (38%) of 548 patients in the placebo group. At final analysis, 464 recurrence-free survival events had occurred (270 in the placebo group and 194 in the sorafenib group). Median follow-up for recurrence-free survival was 8·5 months (IQR 2·9–19·5) in the sorafenib group and 8·4 months (2·9–19·8) in the placebo group. We noted no difference in median recurrence-free survival between the two groups (33·3 months in the sorafenib group vs 33·7 months in the placebo group; hazard ratio [HR] 0·940; 95% CI 0·780–1·134; one-sided p=0·26). The most common grade 3 or 4 adverse events were hand-foot skin reaction (154 [28%] of 559 patients in the sorafenib group vs four [<1%] of 548 patients in the placebo group) and diarrhoea (36 [6%] vs five [<1%] in the placebo group). Sorafenib-related serious adverse events included hand-foot skin reaction (ten [2%]), abnormal hepatic function (four [<1%]), and fatigue (three [<1%]). There were four (<1%) drug-related deaths in the sorafenib group and two (<1%) in the placebo group. Interpretation Our data indicate that sorafenib is not an effective intervention in the adjuvant setting for hepatocellular carcinoma following resection or ablation. Funding Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals and Onyx Pharmaceuticals.
Summary Background Renal-cell carcinoma is highly vascular, and proliferates primarily through dysregulation of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) pathway. We tested sunitinib and sorafenib, two oral anti-angiogenic agents that are effective in advanced renal-cell carcinoma, in patients with resected local disease at high risk for recurrence. Methods In this double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised, phase 3 trial, we enrolled patients at 226 study centres in the USA and Canada. Eligible patients had pathological stage high-grade T1b or greater with completely resected non-metastatic renal-cell carcinoma and adequate cardiac, renal, and hepatic function. Patients were stratified by recurrence risk, histology, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status, and surgical approach, and computerised double-blind randomisation was done centrally with permuted blocks. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1:1) to receive 54 weeks of sunitinib 50 mg per day orally throughout the first 4 weeks of each 6 week cycle, sorafenib 400 mg twice per day orally throughout each cycle, or placebo. Placebo could be sunitinib placebo given continuously for 4 weeks of every 6 week cycle or sorafenib placebo given twice per day throughout the study. The primary objective was to compare disease-free survival between each experimental group and placebo in the intention-to-treat population. All treated patients with at least one follow-up assessment were included in the safety analysis. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov , number NCT00326898. Findings Between April 24, 2006, and Sept 1, 2010, 1943 patients from the National Clinical Trials Network were randomly assigned to sunitinib (n=647), sorafenib (n=649), or placebo (n=647). Following high rates of toxicity-related discontinuation after 1323 patients had enrolled (treatment discontinued by 193 [44%] of 438 patients on sunitinib, 199 [45%] of 441 patients on sorafenib), the starting dose of each drug was reduced and then individually titrated up to the original full doses. On Oct 16, 2014, because of low conditional power for the primary endpoint, the ECOG-ACRIN Data Safety Monitoring Committee recommended that blinded follow-up cease and the results be released. The primary analysis showed no significant differences in disease-free survival. Median disease-free survival was 5·8 years (IQR 1·6–8·2) for sunitinib (hazard ratio [HR] 1·02, 97·5% CI 0·85–1·23, p=0·8038), 6·1 years (IQR 1·7–not estimable [NE]) for sorafenib (HR 0·97, 97·5% CI 0·80–1·17, p=0·7184), and 6·6 years (IQR 1·5–NE) for placebo. The most common grade 3 or worse adverse events were hypertension (105 [17%] patients on sunitinib and 102 [16%] patients on sorafenib), hand-foot syndrome (94 [15%] patients on sunitinib and 208 [33%] patients on sorafenib), rash (15 [2%] patients on sunitinib and 95 [15%] patients on sorafenib), and fatigue (110 [18%] patients on sunitinib and 44 [7%] patients on sorafenib). There were five deaths related to treatment or occurring within 30 days of the end of treatment; one patient receiving sorafenib died from infectious colitis while on treatment and four patients receiving sunitinib died, with one death due to each of neurological sequelae, sequelae of gastric perforation, pulmonary embolus, and disease progression. Revised dosing still resulted in high toxicity. Interpretation Adjuvant treatment with the VEGF receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors sorafenib or sunitinib showed no survival benefit relative to placebo in a definitive phase 3 study. Furthermore, substantial treatment discontinuation occurred because of excessive toxicity, despite dose reductions. These results provide a strong rationale against the use of these drugs for high-risk kidney cancer in the adjuvant setting and suggest that the biology of cancer recurrence might be independent of angiogenesis. Funding US National Cancer Institute and ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group, Pfizer, and Bayer.
NAD is an obligate co-factor for the catabolism of metabolic fuels in all cell types. However, the availability of NAD in several tissues can become limited during genotoxic stress and the course of natural aging. The point at which NAD restriction imposes functional limitations on tissue physiology remains unknown. We examined this question in murine skeletal muscle by specifically depleting Nampt, an essential enzyme in the NAD salvage pathway. Knockout mice exhibited a dramatic 85% decline in intramuscular NAD content, accompanied by fiber degeneration and progressive loss of both muscle strength and treadmill endurance. Administration of the NAD precursor nicotinamide riboside rapidly ameliorated functional deficits and restored muscle mass despite having only a modest effect on the intramuscular NAD pool. Additionally, lifelong overexpression of Nampt preserved muscle NAD levels and exercise capacity in aged mice, supporting a critical role for tissue-autonomous NAD homeostasis in maintaining muscle mass and function. NAD levels decline in multiple tissues with age or in disease. Frederick et al. show that impaired intramuscular NAD synthesis compromises skeletal muscle mass and strength over time but can be quickly restored with an oral NAD precursor. Upregulation of the NAD salvage pathway preserves exercise performance in aged mice.
Summary Background In a phase 3 trial comparing the efficacy and safety of axitinib versus sorafenib as second-line treatment for metastatic renal cell carcinoma, patients given axitinib had a longer progression-free survival (PFS). Here, we report overall survival and updated efficacy, quality of life, and safety results. Methods Eligible patients had clear cell metastatic renal cell carcinoma, progressive disease after one approved systemic treatment, and an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status (ECOG PS) of 0–1. 723 patients were stratified by ECOG PS and previous treatment and randomly allocated (1:1) to receive axitinib (5 mg twice daily; n=361) or sorafenib (400 mg twice daily; n=362). The primary endpoint was PFS assessed by a masked, independent radiology review committee. We assessed patient-reported outcomes using validated questionnaires. Baseline characteristics and development of hypertension on treatment were studied as prognostic factors. Efficacy was assessed in the intention-to-treat population, and safety was assessed in patients who received at least one dose of the study drug. This ongoing trial is registered on ClinicalTrials.gov , number NCT00678392. Findings Median overall survival was 20·1 months (95% CI 16·7–23·4) with axitinib and 19·2 months (17·5–22·3) with sorafenib (hazard ratio [HR] 0·969, 95% CI 0·800–1·174; one-sided p=0·3744). Median investigator-assessed PFS was 8·3 months (95% CI 6·7–9·2) with axitinib and 5·7 months (4·7–6·5) with sorafenib (HR 0·656, 95% CI 0·552–0·779; one-sided p<0·0001). Patient-reported outcomes scores were similar in the treatment groups at baseline, were maintained during treatment, but decreased at end-of-treatment. Common grade 3 or higher treatment-related adverse events were hypertension (60 [17%]), diarrhoea (40 [11%]), and fatigue (37 [10%]) in 359 axitinib-treated patients and hand–foot syndrome (61 [17%]), hypertension (43 [12%]), and diarrhoea (27 [8%]) in 355 sorafenib-treated patients. In a post-hoc 12-week landmark analysis, median overall survival was longer in patients with a diastolic blood pressure of 90 mm Hg or greater than in those with a diastolic blood pressure of less than 90 mm Hg: 20·7 months (95% CI 18·4–24·6) versus 12·9 months (10·1–20·4) in the axitinib group (p=0·0116), and 20·2 months (17·1–32·0) versus 14·8 months (12·0–17·7) in the sorafenib group (one-sided p=0·0020). Interpretation Although overall survival, a secondary endpoint for the study, did not differ between the two groups, investigator-assessed PFS remained longer in the axitinib group compared with the sorafenib group. These results establish axitinib as a second-line treatment option for patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma. Funding Pfizer Inc.
Background & Aims The Sorafenib Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) Assessment Randomized Protocol (SHARP) trial demonstrated that sorafenib improves overall survival and is safe for patients with advanced HCC. In this trial, 602 patients with well-preserved liver function (>95% Child–Pugh A) were randomized to receive either sorafenib 400 mg or matching placebo orally b.i.d. on a continuous basis. Because HCC is a heterogeneous disease, baseline patient characteristics may affect individual responses to treatment. In a comprehensive series of exploratory subgroup analyses, data from the SHARP trial were analyzed to discern if baseline patient characteristics influenced the efficacy and safety of sorafenib. Methods Five subgroup domains were assessed: disease etiology, tumor burden, performance status, tumor stage, and prior therapy. Overall survival (OS), time to progression (TTP), disease control rate (DCR), and safety were assessed for subgroups within each domain. Results Subgroup analyses showed that sorafenib consistently improved median OS compared with placebo, as reflected by hazard ratios (HRs) of 0.50–0.85, similar to the complete cohort (HR = 0.69). Sorafenib also consistently improved median TTP (HR, 0.40–0.64), except in HBV-positive patients (HR, 1.03), and DCR. Results are limited by small patient numbers in some subsets. The most common grade 3/4 adverse events included diarrhea, hand-foot skin reaction, and fatigue; the incidence of which did not differ appreciably among subgroups. Conclusions These exploratory subgroup analyses showed that sorafenib consistently improved median OS and DCR compared with placebo in patients with advanced HCC, irrespective of disease etiology, baseline tumor burden, performance status, tumor stage, and prior therapy.