“[The findings] offer a compelling treatment alternative for patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma, for whom there are limited treatment options available.”
- Prof Pierce Chow, Senior Consultant Surgeon, NCCS and SGH
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a form of liver cancer, is the sixth most common cancer in the world. For almost a decade, there had been no clear data on newer HCC treatments such as Y-90 resin microspheres, where tiny radioactive beads are delivered to the tumour directly.
A team of medical researchers have now verified benefits of Y-90 treatment for patients whose tumours are inoperable.
The SIRveNIB study was conducted by The Asia Pacific Hepatocellular Carcinoma Trials Group in collaboration with National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) and Singapore Clinical Research Institute. It compared Y-90 treatment to sorafenib, the current standard treatment for advanced HCC.
The researchers found that patients who were treated with Y-90 experienced fewer and less severe adverse events than those treated with sorafenib. More of the former also had their tumours shrink after completing treatment.
360 patients from 11 places in Asia Pacific were recruited. It was the first time such a large-scale clinical trial was conducted in the region, where HCC is prevalent.
Professor Pierce Chow, Senior Consultant Surgeon at NCCS and Singapore General Hospital and lead author of the study’s abstract, said, “The better tumour response and tolerability of Y-90 resin microspheres offers a compelling treatment alternative for patients with advanced HCC, for whom there are limited treatment options available.”
The study is supported by the national medical Council Singapore (NMRC) and Sirtex Medical Limited. Its abstract was published online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology and was presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting in Chicago, 4 June 2017.