TKIs beyond immunotherapy predict improved survival in advanced HCC.

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PURPOSE: For patients with advanced HCC, predictors of immunotherapy response are scarce, and the benefits of tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) treatment after immunotherapy are unclear. We explored whether clinical features, such as target lesion response, immune-mediated toxicity, or subsequent TKI therapy predict immunotherapy response.

METHODS: We retrospectively studied 77 patients with advanced HCC receiving immunotherapy. Patient characteristics and outcomes were assessed using various statistical methods, including the log-rank test and Kaplan-Meier methods. Cox proportional hazard modeling was used for multivariable survival analysis.

RESULTS: For all patients, median overall survival (mOS) was 13 months (95% CI 8-19), and median progression-free survival (mPFS) was 6 months (95% CI 4-10). Patients with partial response (PR) and stable disease (SD) compared to progressive disease (PD) had prolonged mPFS (27 vs. 5 vs. 1 month(s), p < 0.0001) and mOS (not met vs. 11 vs. 3 months, p < 0.0001). Patients with vs. without immune-mediated toxicities trended towards longer mPFS (9 vs. 4 months p = 0.133) and mOS (17 vs. 9 months; p = 0.095). Patients who did vs. did not receive a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) after immunotherapy had a significantly improved mOS (19 vs. 5 months, p = 0.0024)). Based on multivariate modeling, the hazard ratio (HR) of overall survival (OS) of patients receiving TKI vs. no TKI was 0.412 (p = 0.0043).

CONCLUSION: We show that disease control predicts prolonged mOS and mPFS. Furthermore, TKI therapy administered after immunotherapy predicts prolonged mOS in patients with advanced HCC.




Medicine and Health Sciences




Department of Medicine, Hematology-Medical Oncology Division

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