Background: Nintedanib is an oral, triple angiokinase inhibitor of vascular endothelial growth factor/platelet-derived growth factor/fibroblast growth factor receptors. This randomized, multicenter, open-label, phase I/II study evaluated the safety, pharmacokinetics, maximum tolerated dose (MTD) in terms of dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs), and efficacy of nintedanib versus sorafenib in Asian patients with unresectable advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Patients and Methods: For the phase I portion, patients were stratified into two groups according to their alanine aminotransferase/aspartate aminotransferase (ALT/AST) and Child-Pugh score at baseline. For phase I, the primary endpoint was determination of the MTD in terms of DLTs. For phase II, patients with a Child-Pugh score of 5-6, an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance score ≤2, and an ALT/AST ≤2× the upper limit of normal were enrolled and randomized 2: 1 to nintedanib 200 mg twice daily (b.i.d.) (the MTD determined in phase I) or sorafenib 400 mg b.i.d. continuously in 28-day cycles until intolerable adverse events (AEs) or disease progression (PD); treatment beyond PD was allowed if clinical benefit was perceived. The primary endpoint for phase II was time to progression (TTP) by central independent review (CIR; by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors v1.0); the secondary endpoints included overall survival (OS). All analyses were exploratory. Results: The MTD was 200 mg in both groups. For phase II, 95 patients were randomized to nintedanib (n = 63) or sorafenib (n = 32). For nintedanib and sorafenib, respectively, the median CIR TTP was 2.8 vs. 3.7 months (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.21, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.73-2.01) and the median OS 10.2 vs. 10.7 months (HR = 0.94, 95% CI 0.59-1.49). Nintedanib-treated patients had fewer grade 3 or higher AEs (56 vs. 84%), serious AEs (46 vs. 56%), and AEs leading to dose reduction (19 vs. 59%) and drug discontinuation (24 vs. 34%). AEs associated more frequently with nintedanib were vomiting and nausea, whereas those associated more frequently with sorafenib were ALT/AST increases, diarrhea, rash, and palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia syndrome. Conclusions: Nintedanib showed numerically similar efficacy to sorafenib for CIR TTP and OS in Asian patients with advanced HCC and adequate liver function. AEs were generally manageable.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes