Phase II study of capecitabine, oxaliplatin, and cetuximab for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma


Journal Article

Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is frequently resistant to chemotherapy. However, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibition has demonstrated activity in HCC and overcomes chemotherapy resistance in other settings. We studied the efficacy of combining the anti-EGFR antibody cetuximab with capecitabine and oxaliplatin in advanced HCC. Methods: Patients who had chemotherapy-naive advanced/unresectable HCC and any Childs-Pugh-class chronic liver disease (provided bilirubin was <3 mg/dl) received capecitabine 850 mg/m2 bid days 1-14, oxaliplatin 130 mg/m2 day 1, and cetuximab 400 mg/m2 day 1 then 250 mg/m2 weekly for each 21 day cycle. Results: Twenty-nine patients received any protocol therapy, but 24 completed at least one cycle. Of the 24 patients evaluable for response, 3 had a partial response (12.5%, 95% confidence interval [CI], 3-32%) and 17 had stable disease (71%), for a disease control rate of 83%. Of patients with an elevated AFP, 57% had α >50% reduction in AFP. Median time to progression was 4.5 months (95% CI, 3.2-6.4), and overall survival was 4.4 months (95% CI, 2.4-7.3). Most common toxicities included diarrhea (13 patients, 45%), fatigue (12 patients, 41%), and hypomagnesemia (12 patients, 41%). Fatigue (6 patients) and diarrhea (5 patients) were the most common grade 3-4 toxicities. Three patients died within the first 30 days of treatment (one of toxicity, two of liver failure presumed to be related to disease progression). Conclusions: The capecitabine/oxaliplatin/cetuximab combination was tolerable, though diarrhea was pronounced, in this population. The combination was associated with a modest response rate, but a high rate of AFP response and radiographic stable disease. Time to progression and overall survival were shorter than would be expected for treatment with sorafenib. © 2011 by International Society of Gastrointestinal Oncology.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Sanoff, HK; Bernard, S; Goldberg, RM; Morse, MA; Garcia, R; Woods, L; Moore, DT; O'Neil, BH

Published Date

  • May 1, 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 4 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 78 - 83

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1934-7820

Citation Source

  • Scopus