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Sorafenib gives new hope for patients with liver cancer

At the recent 2007 American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Chicago, data were presented of a clinical trial in which patients with advanced primary liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma) were treated with sorafenib (a new, molecularly targeting drug). The patients who received sorafenib lived 44% longer than those treated by placebo and had a 73% prolongation in time to disease progression.
 
Sorafenib (a multitargeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor) is thought to work via the Raf kinase pathway, which is over-expressed in hepatocellular carcinoma.
 
Although the prolongation of life was suboptimal in absolute terms, it is indeed exciting that an oral tablet preparation can give such effects in this extremely life-threatening cancer.