Lower dose of chemotherapy effective for liver cancer patients: Study
UPI Health News (Business)
Researchers at the
The study, published today in the
"Previous studies have started patients with half that dose, escalating only after the patients show they can handle it, but those studies have all been on a smaller scale," Dr.
HCC is the most common form of liver cancer in adults and sorafenib is the only first-line treatment approved for treatment of HCC by the
Researchers analyzed patient data from a
"One of the challenges that we faced was that the sickest patients tended to get the reduced dose because of concerns over how much they could tolerate, so any attempt to evaluate these groups based on how long they lived was skewed," Reiss said.
Reiss and her team overcame that problem by matching patients from each group based on disease stage, overall health and other factors resulting in 1,675 patients.
"Essentially, we used a computer model to simulate putting these patients into a randomized, controlled clinical trial," said Dr.
The study found that the reduced dose had no effect on overall survival. Patients beginning treatment at a lower dose had an average survival of 198 days compared to 195 days for patients starting on a full dose, the researchers report.
The lower dose resulted in significant cost savings of about an average of
"It's important to remember that the reduced dose patients will ramp up as they show they can handle it, while the full dose patients may have to ramp down because of these toxicities, so the dosage levels will converge in the middle," Reiss said. "All of the patients get the treatment they need, but the reduced dose approach helps keep cost and toxicities down."