Liver and Bile

Hepatology. 2023;77(4):1139–49

El Hajra I, Sanduzzi-Zamparelli M, Sapena V, Muñoz-Martínez S, Mauro E, Llarch N, Iserte G, Forner A, Rios J, Bruix J, Reig M

Outcome of patients with HCC and liver dysfunction under immunotherapy: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Background and aims: Immunotherapy-based regimes have changed the management of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, evidence of efficacy in patients with impaired liver function is unknown. This systematic review and meta-analysis assesses survival of HCC patients and liver dysfunction treated with immunotherapy-based regimens.
Methods: Systematic review and meta-analysis of original articles or abstracts reporting survival of HCC patients treated with immunotherapy according to liver function between 2017 and 2022. Overall survival (OS) according to restricted mean survival time (RMST) and median OS, and hazard ratio (HR) of Child-Pugh B or B/C versus Child-Pugh A were assessed while considering the line of treatment.
Results: Of the 2218 articles considered, 15 articles recruiting 2311 patients were included. Of these, 639 (27.7%) were Child-Pugh B and 34 (1.5%) were Child-Pugh C. RMST was 8.36 months (95% confidence interval [CI]: 6.15–10.57; I2 = 93%), estimated from 8 studies. The HR was reported in 8 studies for survival between Child-Pugh B versus Child-Pugh A and meta-analysis disclosed a 1.65 HR (95% CI: 1.45–1.84; I2 = 0% heterogeneity; p = 0.45). Treatment line data were available for 47% of the patients and 3 studies included patients treated with atezolizumab-bevacizumab in the first line.

Conclusions: The high heterogeneity across studies reflects the incapacity of the current evidence to support the indication of immunotherapy in hepatocellular carcinoma patients with relevant liver dysfunction. It is mandatory to report complementary information to Child-Pugh classification such as prior liver decompensation, use of concomitant medication to control ascites, or signs of clinically significant portal hypertension to allow better patient stratification in future studies.

Dr. M. Reig, Liver Unit, Hospital Clínic of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain,

DOI: 10.1097/hep.0000000000000030

Back to overview

this could be of interest:

Acute severe non-A-E-hepatitis of unknown origin in children – A 30-year retrospective observational study from North-West Germany

J Hepatol. 2023;78(5):971–8

Risk of liver fibrosis associated with long-term methotrexate therapy may be overestimated

J Hepatol. 2023;78(5):989–97

More articles on the topic