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Combination Chemotherapy for Liver Cancer

Name of the Trial

Phase II Study of Doxorubicin and Bortezomib in Patients With Hepatocellular Carcinoma (ECOG-E6202). See the protocol abstract.

Principal Investigators

Dr. Jordan Berlin, Dr. Bruce Giantonio, and Dr. William Chapman, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group.

Dr. Jordan Berlin

Dr. Jordan Berlin Principal Investigator

Why This Trial Is Important

Hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer) is expected to kill more than 15,000 Americans in 2005. Surgery is the only known curative treatment for this type of cancer, but fewer than 20 percent of patients are eligible for surgery. Although some patients may benefit from local treatments other than surgery, most patients with inoperable liver cancer are treated with systemic chemotherapy.

Treatment with the drug doxorubicin has provided the best results so far for liver cancer patients with inoperable tumors. Unfortunately, fewer than 20 percent of patients respond to treatment with doxorubicin. In this clinical trial, researchers are adding a new drug called bortezomib to chemotherapy with doxorubicin to see if it can cause liver tumors to shrink or stop growing better than doxorubicin alone. Bortezomib, a proteasome inhibitor, blocks the activity of a number of proteins important for cell survival, tumor growth, and angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels to the tumor). In other types of cancer, bortezomib has been shown to delay tumor growth and enhance the cell-killing effects of chemotherapy.

"Results from our laboratory studies suggest that combining doxorubicin and bortezomib is more effective against liver cancer than either agent alone," said Dr. Berlin. "We hope that by adding bortezomib to the standard treatment for liver cancer, we can better control this difficult-to-treat disease."

Contact Information

This clinical trial is no longer accepting new patients. To locate other clinical trials for liver cancer, search the NCI database of clinical trials or call the NCI's Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237). The toll-free call is completely confidential.

  • Posted: November 29, 2005
  • Updated: November 7, 2007