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AACR 2023: Adjuvant Atezolizumab Plus Bevacizumab After Surgery in Liver Cancer

By: Joshua Swore, PhD
Posted: Friday, April 21, 2023

Atezolizumab and bevacizumab as adjuvant therapy improved recurrence-free survival in patients with high-risk hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) after liver resection or ablation compared with active surveillance, according to a presentation at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2023 (Abstract CT003). “The risk of hepatocellular carcinoma recurrence after liver resection or ablation with curative intent is 70% to 80% within 5 years,” said Pierce Chow, PhD, FRCS(E), of Duke-National University of Singapore Medical School, and colleagues.

“IMbrave050 is a landmark study and the first to demonstrate an efficacious adjuvant therapy for patients with HCC who have undergone surgical resection or ablation,” Dr. Chow said in an AACR press release. “These results have established a benchmark in adjuvant therapy for HCC and have the potential to be practice-changing.”

The phase III IMbrave050 study enrolled 668 patients with high-risk hepatocellular carcinoma split evenly into two arms. Patients in arm A were treated with 1,200 mg of atezolizumab and 15 mg/kg of bevacizumab for 1 year. Patients in arm B were provided with active surveillance; however, they became eligible to receive atezolizumab plus bevacizumab upon confirmed disease recurrence.

With a median follow-up of 17.4 months (cutoff October 2022), the primary endpoint was met, with an independent review committee recurrence-free survival hazard ratio of 0.72 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.56–0.93) and an investigator-assessed recurrence-free survival hazard ratio of 0.70 (95% CI = 0.54–0.91). According to the investigators, the results were generally consistent across clinical subgroups. Safety of atezolizumab plus bevacizumab was found to be manageable and consistent with the previous safety profile for each drug.

However, the data were not mature enough to allow the researchers to determine the outcomes of the trial’s secondary endpoints, including overall survival. “For these results, we will have to wait for subsequent analyses,” Dr. Chow concluded.

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit

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