Advanced and progressing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a form of liver cancer that is connected to a number of health risk factors, such as chronic viral hepatitis, cirrhosis, and alcohol abuse. As its name suggests, cancer originates in the liver, breaking down hepatocytes, or specialized liver cells, and impedes normal organ function. As cancer continues to progress, it can migrate to nearby organs and affect their function, making it one of the most aggressive and difficult-to-treat forms of cancer.
Treatment decisions based on the stages of cancer
Most diagnoses for HCC occur during the advanced stages of cancer. For example, the presence of certain symptoms such as abdominal pain, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes), extreme tiredness, and rapid weight loss can be indicative of an advanced progression of cancer. Other diagnosis methods can involve an abdominal ultrasound, CT/MRI scan, or hepatobiliary iminodiacetic acid scans (HIDA). After diagnosis, treatment can vary based on any underlying conditions caused by the HCC, with therapeutic approaches focusing on the removal of metastases, controlling tumor size, and reducing the risk of metastasis recurrence.
Curable efforts for its immediate care
Although HCC is considered highly curable when caught early, once it has advanced, the prognosis is usually much grimmer. As cancer has likely spread to multiple parts of the liver, treatment plans must focus on maximizing survival quality and minimizing quantity. Current treatment options for advanced HCC include chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and radiation therapy. Each of these therapies can be used either in isolation or in a combined approach, depending on the severity of the cancer.
For those who cannot undergo surgery, a number of experimental treatments are available that can slow down disease progression. These treatments are best suited to those who have an earlier stage of HCC and cannot be removed through surgery. Options like transarterial chemoembolization and radiofrequency ablation can stem tumor growth and reduce the risk of metastasis recurrence. Possible therapies for tumors at risk of regrowth include systemic delivery of tumors that focus on targeting tumor-specific genes and immunotherapy.
The survival rate of hepatocellular carcinoma
Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) is the most common primary cancer of the liver, with diagnoses of advanced and progressing cases having a five-year survival rate as low as 16%. This prognosis has led to greater research and innovation into treatments for HCC that extend life expectancy with greater quality.
Stages of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma
Advanced hepatocellular carcinoma is defined as being stage 3 or higher on the AJCC TNM staging system. This includes tumors of size greater than 5 cm, those with spread to intrahepatic lymph nodes, and the involvement of extrahepatic organs such as lungs, bones, and adrenal glands. Lesions not amenable to direct ablation must be treated as part of a multidisciplinary program. Prognosis at this stage is worse, as the median survival times of 12-24 months become more immediate.
Treatment of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma includes a combination of systemic and local treatments. These include Chemotherapy, non-targeted biological therapies, and surgical resection. Systemic chemotherapy with agents such as etoposide, ifosfamide, and gemcitabine has been reported to induce disease stabilization in some cases. Additionally, Targeted Biologic therapies using tyrosine kinase inhibitors such as sorafenib, have been shown to provide improving prognosis and delay the progression of cancer. Surgical resection is always considered but the spread of the disease and the proximity of the tumor to neighboring organs sadly precludes this as an option in advanced cases.
Approach with intense care
Unfortunately, despite best efforts, the progression of Hepatocellular Carcinoma is often inevitable. With the capability to metastasize to the lungs, bones, and lymph nodes, the prognosis for these advanced cases significantly worsens when the disease begins to spread beyond the primary site. Therefore, management of these cases requires a multi-disciplinary approach with all modality options considered, from systemic therapies such as chemotherapy to targeted biological agents, and palliative care to provide the best quality of life during the end stages.
Treatment as an effective cure
Cabozantinib 20mg tablet is a relatively new cancer treatment that has shown promise in treating several cancers, including prostate, hepatocellular carcinoma, and thyroid cancer. Developed by Exelixis, cabozantinib works by blocking a few different kinds of kinases, proteins responsible for cell growth and survival, inside cancer cells. While the exact mechanisms underlying cabozantinib’s action are still being studied, it appears that cabozantinib has the ability to block multiple key pathways involved in cancer cell growth, leading to cell death.
Remission from clinical trials
In clinical trials, cabozantinib has so far demonstrated significant effectiveness in treating prostate and kidney cancers, as well as hepatocellular carcinomas. In all three cases, cabozantinib was able to significantly reduce tumor burden, with some patients seeing complete remission after treatment. In addition, cabozantinib can be used in combination with other cancer drugs or with chemotherapy, making it even more effective.
Dose of its administration
Cabozantinib is taken orally in tablet form once a day. Treatment typically lasts anywhere from 4 weeks to 3 months, depending on the patient’s tumor burden and cancer type. While cabozantinib is generally well tolerated, it does come with a few potential side effects, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, and skin rash. In addition, cabozantinib may cause a decrease in blood counts, and patients should be monitored for any changes in blood cell counts.
Precise effects of its action
Cabozantinib is showing great promise as a cancer treatment and is already being used to treat several cancer types. However, more research is still needed in order to fully understand cabozantinib’s precise mechanisms of action and to further explore its potential as an effective cancer treatment. With the help of continued research, cabozantinib may soon become a standard treatment option for a variety of cancer types.
Overall, HCC is a very aggressive cancer with a high mortality rate. Fortunately, with early diagnosis and proper treatment, it is possible to prolong survival quality and slow the progression of cancer. For advanced cases, treatments are largely focused on improving symptoms and extending life as much as possible. For those newly diagnosed with HCC, consult with a healthcare professional to discuss the best available treatment options for your specific case.
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