Positive Signs from Interim Data in Early Hepatocellular Carcinoma Trial

According to a story from PR Newswire, the pharma company Medivir AB, which is focused on developing cancer therapies in areas of critical high unmet need, recently announced the release of interim data from its phase 1b/2a clinical trial. This trial is testing its therapeutic candidate fostrox in a combination therapy with Lenvima as a treatment for advanced cases of hepatocellular carcinoma, or primary liver cancer. The drug is being evaluated in patients who have failed first or second-line therapies due to intolerance or lack of effect.

About Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC)

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.

The Data So Far

A total of six patients were participating in the phase 1b dose escalation portion of the trial. A central review of treatment data found that one patient experienced a complete response, two patients recorded a partial response, and two patients had stable disease.

Tolerability and safety characteristics of the combination therapy appear stable, with no unanticipated adverse effects. In earlier reports, safety and tolerability were reported as favorable. The trial is continuing in the phase 2a portion, which expands the range of doses and has completed the patient recruitment phase.

Hopefully, positive findings will continue as the trial proceeds.

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