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Phase III Clinical Trial Reveals Positive Results for Cancer Immunotherapy in Treating the Most Common Form of Liver Cancer

IMbrave150 study by Roche shows promise for combination immunotherapy for liver cancer patients.

Having first begun in 2018, the IMbrave150 study aimed to study the combination therapy of Atezolizumab and Bevacizumab compared with Sorafenib in patients with untreated advanced and metastatic Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC).

Globally, HCC accounts for 90 percent of liver cancer cases and 72 percent of all global liver cancer cases are diagnosed in Asia. This statistic makes it commonly known as an Asian liver disease. Of all the 17 countries participated, of which includes Asian countries, such as China, Hong Kong, Japan, Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan.

The clinical trial results of IMbrave150 represent a significant milestone for the discovery of HCC treatment. For over a decade where have been no validated superior treatment outcomes. This new class of combination immunotherapy, with the PD-L1 inhibitor Atezolizumab and the VEGF inhibitor Bevacizumab has proven positive results by enhancing the potential of the immune system to combat HCC. Phase III stage of this study demonstrated a significant breakthrough in seminal research in enhancing overall survival and progression-free survival in people with unresectable HCC compared to the current standard of care, Sorafenib. The data was presented in the Presidential session at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) held in Singapore.

Commenting on the new data, Professor Pierce Chow, Senior Consultant, Division of Surgery and Surgical Oncology, National Cancer Centre Singapore shared that, “While surgical resection and (and transplantation in selected cases) still offers the best chance of cure in early stage HCC, outcomes of surgery in intermediate state HCC has been less than satisfactory. This is because there has been no efficacious systemic therapy that can function as useful adjuvant therapy. Recurrences after resection in intermediate stage HCC remains high and limit survival. The impressive results of the IMbrave150 trial offer the possibility that efficacious adjuvant therapy might be possible.”

Associate Professor Toh Han Chong, Senior Consultant, Division of Medical Oncology and Deputy Medical Director (Strategic Partnerships), National Cancer Centre Singapore, who was one of the site investigators, said, “Every year 750,000 people worldwide are diagnosed with HCC, the majority of whom are in Asia. Hence, it is very timely that the landmark study confirms that this combination therapy can potentially improve survival in advanced liver cancer.”

Roche has multiple clinical trials for HCC patients, with some of the studies also being present in Singapore in National Cancer Centre Singapore and National University Hospital. Dr. Sivabalan Sivanesan, Medical Director of Roche Singapore added, “As a leading provider of cancer care in the world, Roche is committed to bringing innovative products to address the unmet needs of patients. Understanding the significant prevalence of liver disease in the region, we ensured that Asian patients were greatly represented in the study, and we are pleased to be partnering with the leading institutions in Singapore to conduct our studies.” [APBN]