Objective: REACH-2 and REACH were randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, multicenter phase 3 trials which showed survival benefits of ramucirumab treatment in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and elevated alpha-fetoprotein (AFP). We evaluated the efficacy and safety of ramucirumab in Asian and non-Asian patients with AFP ≥400 ng/mL from REACH-2 and REACH. Methods: We pooled Asian and non-Asian patients from the REACH-2 and REACH trials and performed an individual patient data meta-analysis. Overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival were evaluated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Hazard ratios (HRs) were estimated with a stratified Cox regression model. Results: In the pooled REACH-2 and REACH patient population, 291 Asian patients were randomly assigned to receive ramucirumab (n = 168) or placebo (n = 123), and 251 non-Asian patients received ramucirumab (n = 148) or placebo (n = 103). The median OS was significantly longer in the ramucirumab arm in comparison to the placebo arm for Asian patients (8.08 vs. 4.76 months, stratified HR 0.73 [95% CI 0.56-0.95], p = 0.0189) and non-Asian patients (7.98 vs. 5.22 months, stratified HR 0.65 [95% CI 0.49-0.86], p = 0.0028). The overall response rate (ORR) and disease control rate (DCR) were significantly higher in the ramucirumab arm compared to the placebo arm for Asian patients (ORR: 4.2 vs. 0.8%; DCR: 53.6 vs. 33.3%) and non-Asian patients (ORR: 6.8 vs. 1.0%; DCR: 59.5 vs. 41.7%). The most common grade ≥3 treatment-emergent adverse events reported in the ramucirumab arm were hypertension (7.7%), decreased appetite (1.2%), and ascites (1.2%) for Asian patients and hypertension (16.9%), ascites (8.8%), asthenia (4.7%), and fatigue (5.4%) for non-Asian patients. Discussion and Conclusion: This pooled analysis of the REACH-2/REACH trials demonstrates significant benefits, with a manageable safety profile, of ramucirumab treatment in Asian and non-Asian patients with advanced HCC and baseline AFP ≥400 ng/mL.
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