The administration of approved systemic treatments for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is limited to patients with preserved liver function (Child-Pugh A/B7) and performance status. Conversely, metronomic chemotherapy can be safely administered to patients with poor clinical conditions and severe liver impairment. The metronomic schedule demonstrated to exert different anticancer mechanisms compared to that of the same agent administered at its standard schedule, including immune stimulation and the inhibition of angiogenesis and vasculogenesis. Nevertheless, metronomic chemotherapy is a nearly neglected option for the treatment of advanced HCC patients, even among those who cannot afford standard treatments. Herein, we report the case of a 40-year-old patient affected by HBV-HDV-related cirrhosis who was diagnosed with advanced HCC. The severe liver impairment (Child-Pugh B9) did not allow to administer first-line treatment with tyrosine kinase inhibitors so that the patient received metronomic capecitabine as upfront therapy. Due to the suspect of progressive disease at the first radiologic assessment, metronomic cyclophosphamide was added to capecitabine aiming to enhance its efficacy. After 4 months of treatment, complete tumor response, alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) normalization and the recovery of a Child-Pugh A were achieved. The patient was then able to undergo liver transplantation, and, after 18 months from the diagnosis, he is still free of disease recurrence. This experience emphasizes the reliability of metronomic capecitabine as a well-tolerated and effective treatment when patient's conditions prevent the administration of standard first-line treatments. In fact, metronomic capecitabine demonstrated its effectiveness in advanced HCC in retrospective and prospective analyses, leading to median progression-free survival and overall survival of, respectively, 6.03 and 14.47 months in phase II single-arm trial. Moreover, in consideration of the raising interest in immune-checkpoint inhibition in HCC, we believe that the immunomodulating effects of metronomic chemotherapy, either capecitabine or cyclophosphamide, warrant future trials exploring its combination with immunotherapy.

The power of kindness: curative treatment with metronomic combination in advanced hepatocellular carcinoma

Brandi G.
Primo
;
Di Federico A.;Rizzo A.;De Lorenzo S.;Vasuri F.;Brocchi S.;Golfieri R.;Frega G.;Palloni A.
Ultimo
2022

Abstract

The administration of approved systemic treatments for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is limited to patients with preserved liver function (Child-Pugh A/B7) and performance status. Conversely, metronomic chemotherapy can be safely administered to patients with poor clinical conditions and severe liver impairment. The metronomic schedule demonstrated to exert different anticancer mechanisms compared to that of the same agent administered at its standard schedule, including immune stimulation and the inhibition of angiogenesis and vasculogenesis. Nevertheless, metronomic chemotherapy is a nearly neglected option for the treatment of advanced HCC patients, even among those who cannot afford standard treatments. Herein, we report the case of a 40-year-old patient affected by HBV-HDV-related cirrhosis who was diagnosed with advanced HCC. The severe liver impairment (Child-Pugh B9) did not allow to administer first-line treatment with tyrosine kinase inhibitors so that the patient received metronomic capecitabine as upfront therapy. Due to the suspect of progressive disease at the first radiologic assessment, metronomic cyclophosphamide was added to capecitabine aiming to enhance its efficacy. After 4 months of treatment, complete tumor response, alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) normalization and the recovery of a Child-Pugh A were achieved. The patient was then able to undergo liver transplantation, and, after 18 months from the diagnosis, he is still free of disease recurrence. This experience emphasizes the reliability of metronomic capecitabine as a well-tolerated and effective treatment when patient's conditions prevent the administration of standard first-line treatments. In fact, metronomic capecitabine demonstrated its effectiveness in advanced HCC in retrospective and prospective analyses, leading to median progression-free survival and overall survival of, respectively, 6.03 and 14.47 months in phase II single-arm trial. Moreover, in consideration of the raising interest in immune-checkpoint inhibition in HCC, we believe that the immunomodulating effects of metronomic chemotherapy, either capecitabine or cyclophosphamide, warrant future trials exploring its combination with immunotherapy.
Brandi G.; Di Federico A.; Rizzo A.; De Lorenzo S.; Vasuri F.; Brocchi S.; Golfieri R.; Morelli M.C.; Frega G.; Palloni A.
File in questo prodotto:
Eventuali allegati, non sono esposti

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/854451
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 1
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact