Octreotide in the treatment of inoperable hepatocellular carcinoma

Authors T. Patsanas, D. Kapetanos, A. Ilias, Ch. Gessiou, V. Tzarou, G. Kokozidis, G. Kitis.


Background & Aims: The progression and therapy of
hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) may be influenced by
somatostatin-receptors in HCC cells. This has offered the
rationale for evaluating the therapeutic usefulness of
octreotide in patients with HCC. The aim of this study was
to assess the clinical and biochemical impact of octreotide
administration in patients with HCC.
Method: Thirty patients with HCC, who were unsuitable
for surgery, ethanol injection or transarterial embolization
were divided into two groups (A and B) according to the
presence or not of cirrhosis. All patients received 500ìg
octreotide subcutaneously twice daily indefinitely.
Results: Mean survival time was 5+1.3 months in group A
and 8.3+0.96 months in group B, with significant
differences between the two groups (log rank test, p=0.03).
Cirrhotic patients with Okuda I+II stage had a longer
survival time in comparison to patients with Okuda III stage
(log rank test, p=0.04). Moreover, octreotide administration
stopped gradual elevation of a-fetoprotein (AFP) levels.
Conclusions: Octreotide seems to improve the survival time
in non-cirrhotic patients with HCC and especially in
patients with Okuda II stage with no elevation of AFP,
offering acceptable quality of life, safety and tolerance.
Original Articles