Analysis of Hepatocellular Carcinoma Trial Presented at 2019 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium

According to a story from, the pharmaceutical company Eisai, Inc. announced that that company presented a total of four abstracts which were related to a Phase 3 clinical trial testing the company’s drug LENVIMA® (also known as lenvatinib). This trial tested LENVIMA as a therapy for hepatocellular carcinoma that could not be treated with surgery. Eisai is focused on the development of treatments for cancer and neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia. The presentations were made at the 2019 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium, which took place from January 17-19, 2019.

About Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Hepatocellular carcinoma is a type of liver cancer. Although generally considered rare, at least in developed countries, it is the most common type of cancer to originate in the liver in adults and is also the most common cause of death for people who develop cirrhosis. Risk factors are generally any condition that can lead to long term liver damage and cirrhosis, such as certain genetic disorders, chronic hepatitis, type 2 diabetes, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, and severe alcohol abuse. The cancer is associated with common symptoms of liver dysfunction and damage, such as jaundice, fatigue, abdominal swelling, nausea and vomiting, bruising easily, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, and weight loss. Treatment may include kinase inhibitors, surgery, liver transplant, arterial catheters, and ablation. Survival rates are poor; cancer that cannot be removed with surgery is usually lethal within a year. To learn more about hepatocellular carcinoma, click here.

Presentation Focus

These presentations focused on a variety of different aspects of the trial, such as overall survival and objective response rates, the connection between overall survival rates and adverse events encountered during the study, a discussion of unmet needs in hepatocellular carcinoma, and dosing of the drug.


Eisai has also entered into a collaboration with Merck for the continued development of LENVIMA both as a single therapy and as part of a two part combination with Merck’s KEYTRUDA® (also known as pembrolizumab). LENVIMA has been approved since 2015 for the treatment of differentiated thyroid cancer and in 2016 it was approved as part of a combination treatment with everolimus as a therapy for renal cell carcinoma. LENVIMA is a multiple kinase inhibitor.

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