A drug to treat the most common form of liver cancer was approved by the FDA on April 27. UCLA’s Dr. Richard Finn led the clinical studies that led to the approval of the medication, regorafenib, and UCLA was the leader of the U.S. arm of the research, which involved 21 other sites in the U.S., Europe and Asia.
The drug is used to treat hepatocellular carcinoma, which accounts for three-quarters of the cases of liver cancer in the U.S. and is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. In trials, regorafenib significantly improved survival rates after standard treatments failed.
“When liver cancer progresses to advanced stages, a cure is no longer possible,” said Finn, an associate professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and director of the Signal Transduction and Therapeutics Program at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. “Traditional treatments can help slow and control the disease for a short period of time, but eventually tumor growth will continue.”