Sorafenib is used in patients with intermediate or advanced stage hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) before or after of transarterial chemoembolization (TACE). However, the survival outcomes of TACE combined with sorafenib versus TACE alone remain controversial. Thus, we conducted a meta-analysis to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the combination therapy of TACE plus sorafenib in patients with intermediate or advanced stage of HCC.
Pubmed and Embase databases were systematically reviewed for studies published up to November 2013, that compared TACE alone or in combination with sorafenib. Pooled hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (95%CIs) were calculated for overall survival (OS), time to progression (TTP), objective response rate (ORR), and progression free survival (PFS) using random-effects or fixed-effects model, depending on the heterogeneity between the included studies.
Six studies published from 2011 to 2013, with a total of 1254 patients, were included in this meta-analysis. The pooled results showed that TACE combined with sorafenib significantly improved OS (HR = 0.65; 95% CI: 0.47–0.89, P = 0.007), TTP (HR = 0.68; 95% CI: 0.52–0.87, P = 0.003), ORR (HR = 1.06; 95% CI: 1.01–1.12, P = 0.021), but did not affect PFS (HR = 0.84; 95% CI: 0.62–1.14, P = 0.267). The incidence of grade III/IV adverse reaction was higher in the TACE plus sorafenib group than in the TACE group.