Ramucirumab as second-line treatment in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma: Japanese subgroup analysis of the REACH trial
REACH evaluated ramucirumab in the second-line treatment of patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. In the intent-to-treat population (n = 565), a significant improvement in overall survival (OS) was not observed. In patients with an elevated baseline α-fetoprotein (AFP) level (400 ng/mL or greater), an improvement in OS was demonstrated. An analysis of the Japanese patients in REACH was performed.
An analysis was performed with the subset of the intent-to-treat population enrolled in Japan (n = 93).
The median OS was 12.9 months for the ramucirumab arm (n = 45) and 8.0 months for the placebo arm (n = 48) [hazard ratio (HR) 0.621 (95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.391–0.986); P = 0.0416]. The median progression-free survival was 4.1 months for the ramucirumab arm and 1.7 months for the placebo arm [HR 0.449 (95 % CI 0.285–0.706); P = 0.0004]. The objective response rates were 11 % for the ramucirumab arm and 2 % for the placebo arm (P = 0.0817). The grade 3 or higher treatment-emergent adverse events occurring in more than 5 % of patients with a higher incidence for the ramucirumab arm (n = 44) than for the placebo arm (n = 47) were ascites (7% vs 2 %), hypertension (7 % vs 2 %), and cholangitis (7 % vs 0 %). In patients with a baseline AFP level of 400 ng/mL or greater, the median OS was 12.9 months for the ramucirumab arm (n = 20) and 4.3 months for the placebo arm (n = 22) [HR 0.464 (95 % CI 0.232–0.926); P = 0.0263].
In the Japanese patients in REACH, ramucirumab treatment improved OS, including in patients with a baseline AFP level of 400 ng/mL or greater; improvements in progression-free survival and objective response rate were also demonstrated. The safety profile of ramucirumab was acceptable and well tolerated in Japanese patients.
ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT01140347.