Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 37, Issue 5, pp 659–662 | Cite as

Prospective controlled trial with antiestrogen drug tamoxifen in patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma

  • F. Farinati
  • N. De Maria
  • A. Fornasiero
  • M. Salvagnini
  • S. Fagiuoli
  • M. Chiaramonte
  • R. Naccarato
Conference Report


Clinical and experimental evidence indicates that estrogens are involved in the control of hepatocyte proliferation both in normal and in neoplastic conditions. Thirty-two cirrhotic patients with unresectable or otherwise untreatable hepatocellular carcinoma were allocated to receive either tamoxifen (30 mg/day) or no treatment. The patients in the two groups were matched for age, male/female ratio, Child-Pugh class, approximate tumor volume (US and CT scan), and etiology of the underlying cirrhosis. Survival of the tamoxifen-treated patients (life-table, Wilcoxon-Breslow) was significantly prolonged (P=0.0038), with 35% (vs 0%) survival at 12 months. No difference was observed between males and females or between alcoholic and nonalcoholic cirrhosis. In 40% of tamoxifen-treated patients, the levels of α-fetoprotein declined. In conclusion, the antiestrogen tamoxifen appears to be effective in the palliative treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma. An initial decline in α-fetoprotein levels may represent an early favorable prognostic sign.

Key Words

hepatocellular carcinoma hormones liver neoplasmas estrogens 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Farinati
    • 1
    • 2
  • N. De Maria
    • 1
    • 2
  • A. Fornasiero
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. Salvagnini
    • 1
    • 2
  • S. Fagiuoli
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. Chiaramonte
    • 1
    • 2
  • R. Naccarato
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Cattedra Malattie Apparato Digerente, Divisione di Gastroenterologia “R. Farini”, Istituto di Medicina InternaPoliclinico UniversitarioPadovaItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di OncologiaUniversitá di PadovaPadovaItaly

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