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Sorafenib increases life expectancy in liver cancer patients

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The drug sorafenib can increase the life expectancy of patients with advanced liver cancer by three months, a study has shown.

According to the study of 602 patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma, patients treated with the drug lived 44% longer than those who received a placebo.

Median overall survival was 10.7 months in a sorafenib group and 7.9 months in the placebo group.

‘This is the first time that we've had an effective systemic treatment for liver cancer,’ said lead author Josep Llovet, director of research in liver cancer at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.

‘Our findings demonstrated survival advantages that are both statistically significant and clinically meaningful.’

New England Journal of Medicine (2008) 359: 378-390

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