Radiation Shown to Improve Survival in Liver Cancer ‘For the First Time’

Adding radiation to sorafenib elicited a survival improvement in a group of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma, a type of liver cancer.

Treatment with stereotactic body radiation therapy in combination with sorafenib (Nexavar) bested sorafenib alone among a group of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma, according to recent study results.

The findings, according to Louis Potters, MD, FACR, FABS, FASTRO, mark the first time that radiation has elicited a survival benefit in patients with this type of liver cancer.

CancerNetwork® spoke with Potters about those findings, which were from a randomized phase 3 trial (NCT01730937) and presented at the 2022 American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Annual Meeting.

Potters, who is the chair of the Department of Radiation Medicine and deputy physician-in-chief of Northwell Health Cancer Institute in New Hyde Park, New York, said that these findings show that radiation therapy has a role in the treatment of patients with this form of liver cancer.


The NRG 1112 trial was a hepatocellular SBRT trial. That was actually an overall positive survival benefit trial. It's the first time that radiation therapy has been identified to improve overall survival in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma. And although there continues to be an effort in the chemotherapy side of things looking at agents that work well with this particular disease, we've clearly been able to carve out, based on the results of this study, a role for radiation therapy, SBRT in particular, for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma. That was an exciting study to hear about.


Dawson LA, Winter K, Knox J, et al. NRG/RTOG 1112: Randomized phase III study of sorafenib vs. stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) followed by sorafenib in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) (NCT01730937). Presented at 2022 American Society for Radiation Oncology Annual Meeting (ASTRO); October 23-26, 2022; San Antonio, TX. Abstract LBA 01.

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