Complete response in 5 out of 38 patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma treated with stem cell differentiation stage factors: Case reports from a single centre

T. Livraghi, R. Ceriani, A. Palmisano, V. Pedicini, M. G. Pich, M. A. Tommasini, G. Torzilli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) represents the third cause of cancer-related death. Because HCC is multicentric with time, excluding the few transplanted patients, sooner or later it becomes untreatable with loco-regional therapies and, until some years ago, it was not responsive to systemic therapies. In 2005 a randomized trial indicated the efficacy of a product containing stem cell differentiation stage factors (SCDSF) taken from zebra fish embryos during the stage in which the totipotent stem cells are differentiating into the pluripotent adult stem cells. In such a trial the patients, with "intermediate" and "advanced" HCC according to BCLC/AASLD guidelines, presented benefit in terms of performance status (PS) and objective tumoral response, with some cases (2.4%) of complete response (CR). The aim of this cohort study is to report the experience of a tertiary referral center on the evidence of cases of CR in patients with "advanced" stage HCC treated with SCDSF as supportive care. CR was regarded as sustained disappearance of the neoplastic areas or blood supply therein, accompanied by normalization of AFP levels. Out of 49 patients consecutively recruited and retrospectively evaluated, 38 had "advanced" stage and 11 "terminal" stage. In 5 patients with "advanced" stage a sustained CR was reported (13.1%). Improvement on PS was obtained in 17 patients (34.6%). No side effects occurred. SCDSF treatment confirmed its efficacy in patients with "advanced" HCC, in terms of PS and tumoral response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-260
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Pharmaceutical Biotechnology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011



  • Advanced stage
  • Biological response modifiers
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Sorafenib
  • Stem cells
  • Systemic therapy
  • Targeted molecular therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Biotechnology

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