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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2012, Article ID 607851, 8 pages
Clinical Study

Sorafenib Prevents Escape from Host Immunity in Liver Cirrhosis Patients with Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Toho University Medical Center, Omori Hospital, 6-11-1, Omorinishi, Ota-ku, Tokyo 143-8541, Japan

Received 26 December 2011; Revised 9 March 2012; Accepted 9 March 2012

Academic Editor: Julie R. Ostberg

Copyright © 2012 Hidenari Nagai et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. It has been reported that Th2 cytokines downregulate antitumor immunity, while activation of type T cells promotes antitumor immunity. The aim of this paper was to evaluate host immunity in liver cirrhosis (LC) patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (aHCC) receiving sorafenib therapy. Methods. Forty-five adult Japanese LC patients received sorafenib for aHCC between 2009 and 2011 at our hospital. Sorafenib was administered at a dose of 200–800 mg/day for 4 weeks. Blood samples were collected before and after treatment. Results. Eleven patients were treated with sorafenib at 200 mg/day (200 group), 27 patients received sorafenib at 400 mg/day (400 group), and 7 patients were given sorafenib at 800 mg/day (800 group). There was no significant change in the percentage of Th1 cells after treatment in any group. However, the percentages of Th2 cells and regulatory T cells were significantly decreased after treatment in the 400 group and 800 group compared with before treatment, although there was no significant change after treatment in the 200 group. Conclusions. These results indicate that treatment with sorafenib might induce Th1 dominance and prevent the escape of tumor cells from the host immune system in LC patients with aHCC.