Radiotherapy Plus Thalidomide in Locally Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma

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National Taiwan University

Status and phase

Phase 2
Phase 1


Hepatocellular Carcinoma


Drug: Thalidomide

Study type


Funder types




Details and patient eligibility


This is a pilot study of concomitant radiotherapy and thalidomide for patients with locally advanced HCC.Besides toxicity and efficacy, mechanistic studies including dynamic contrast enhanced MRI and serum cytokines will be evaluated.

Full description

This is a pilot study of concomitant radiotherapy and thalidomide for patients with locally advanced HCC. Patients whose tumor(s) are not suitable for other local treatment, such as surgery, trans-arterial chemoembolization (TAE), ethanol injection, or radiofrequency ablation. will be enrolled.Radical radiotherapy will be started after pre-treatment evaluation. The total dose of RT will be 50Gy in 25 fractions to local tumor(s). Oral Thalidomide will be started 3 days before RT begins. Thalidomide treatment will continue for totally 6 months or until tumor progression. Dynamic contrast enhanced MRI (DCEMRI) will be done at the following time points to assess the change in tumor perfusion: (1) before the start of thalidomide treatment; (2) 3 days after thalidomide before radiotherapy; (3) 2weeks after radiotherapy begins;and (4) 1 month after radiotherapy completes. DCEMRI will then be done every 3 months until disease progression.Serum samples for angiogenic cytokine studies will also be collected.The study was designed to evaluate the feasibility and tolerability of combination treatment of radiotherapy and thalidomide for locally advanced HCC. The sample size was determined by the expected incidence of grade 4 toxicity of the combination treatment versus radiotherapy alone for locally advanced HCC. Since the grade 4 toxicity of radiotherapy alone is 7-9%, we need at least 15 patients to evaluate for feasibility of the combination treatment. With an estimated drop out rate of approximately 10%, 17 patients will be enrolled.




20 to 70 years old


No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

* 1.1 Patients with measurable, locally advanced HCC that are not suitable for other local therapies, including surgery, TAE, alcohol injection, or radiofrequency ablation. 1.2 Patients with histological confirmed HCC or patients who do not have histological diagnosis but have met all of the following criteria: 1.2.1 Presence of chronic viral hepatitis and/or cirrhosis 1.2.2 Presence of hepatic tumor(s) with image findings (sonography, CT scan) compatible with HCC. 1.2.3 A persistent elevation of serum a-fetoprotein level ³ 400 ng/ml without any evidence of ana-fetoprotein-secreting germ cell tumor. 1.3 Patients without any local or systemic therapy for HCC within 4 weeks. 1.4 Patients with age \> 20 years and \< 70 years. 1.5 Patients with a performance status of ECOG score \< 1. 1.6 Patients must fulfill all of the following criteria: 1.6.1 Child-Pugh's Score ≦ 7. 1.6.2 Serum total bilirubin \< 1.5 times upper normal limit (UNL 1.6.3 Serum alanine transaminase (ALT) \< 5 times UNL 1.6.4 Platelet count \> 5.0 x 104 / mm3. 1.6.5 White blood cell count \> 3,000 / mm3. 1.6.6 Serum creatinine \< 2.0 mg/dL 1.7 Patient must have local tumors less than one half of the whole liver and the tumors can be encompassed within RT fields 1.8 Signed informed consent 1.9 Sexually active patients, in conjunction with their partner, must practice birth control during, and for 2 months after, thalidomide therapy. 1.10 Female patients in child-bearing age must have negative pregnancy test.

Exclusion criteria

* 2.1. Patients with documented extrahepatic metastasis. 2.2. Patients who received previous radiotherapy to abdominal area. 2.3. Patients who have received thalidomide treatment prior to enrollment. 2.4. Patients who had other investigational drug treatment within 4 weeks prior to enrollment. 2.5. Patients with NCI grade 2 or greater peripheral neuropathy of any causes. 2.6. Patients with other systemic diseases that required concurrent usage of glucocorticosteroid or immunosuppressant agent(s). 2.7. Patients who have major systemic diseases that the attending physicians consider inappropriate for radiotherapy or thalidomide therapy.

Trial design

Primary purpose




Interventional model

Single Group Assignment


None (Open label)

Trial contacts and locations



Central trial contact

Hui-Ju Ch'ang, M.D.; Yu-Chieh Yu, R.N.

Data sourced from

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