Background: Sorafenib represents one of the therapeutic strongholds for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), but unfortunately, predictive factors are lacking. We previously reported that the VEGF single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) rs2010963 and rs4604006 might correlate with clinical outcomes in sorafenib-treated HCC patients. Objective: The objective of the ALICE-2 study is to define a prognostic angiogenesis profile to better identify HCC patients who are more likely to benefit from sorafenib treatment. Patients and methods: From 2008 to 2015, all consecutive HCC patients receiving sorafenib according to the Italian label were tested for specific HIF-1α, VEGF, and VEGFR SNPs. Results from angiogenesis genotyping were then correlated with clinical outcome parameters. Results: Globally, a total of 210 patients were enrolled. At multivariate analysis rs12434438 of HIF1α, rs2010963 of VEGF-A, and rs4604006 of VEGF-C were confirmed as independent predictive factors. At the combined analysis of significant SNPs, the presence of two favourable alleles of rs2010963 and rs4604006 of VEGF compared to only one or to none favourable alleles, was able to identify three separate patients populations with different time-to-progression (TTP) (10.8 vs. 5.6 vs. 3.7 months, respectively; p < 0.0001) and overall survival (OS) (19.0 vs. 13.5 vs. 7.5 months, respectively; p < 0.0001). Furthermore, the presence of the GG genotype of rs12434438 (HIF-1α) seemed able to select a population with a particularly poor outcome, independently from the clinical effect of the two VEGF SNPs (TTP: 2.6 months, HR: 0.54, p = 0.0374; OS: 6.6 months, p = 0.0061, HR: 0.43). Conclusions: Our findings show that polymorphism analysis of HIF-1α, VEGF, and VEGFR genes may represent a prognostic panel to better identify HCC patients who are more likely to benefit from sorafenib treatment.
Angiogenesis Genotyping and Clinical Outcomes in Patients with Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma Receiving Sorafenib: The ALICE-2 Study / Faloppi, L.; Puzzoni, M.; Casadei Gardini, A.; Silvestris, N.; Masi, G.; Marisi, G.; Vivaldi, C.; Gadaleta, C. D.; Ziranu, P.; Bianconi, M.; Loretelli, C.; Demurtas, L.; Lai, E.; Giampieri, R.; Galizia, E.; Ulivi, P.; Battelli, N.; Falcone, A.; Cascinu, S.; Scartozzi, M.. - In: TARGETED ONCOLOGY. - ISSN 1776-2596. - ELETTRONICO. - 15:1(2020), pp. 115-126. [10.1007/s11523-020-00698-x]