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Chinese Herbal Formulation PHY906 and Sorafenib Tosylate in Treating Patients With Advanced Liver Cancer

This study is ongoing, but not recruiting participants.
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
City of Hope Medical Center Identifier:
First received: August 14, 2012
Last updated: March 8, 2017
Last verified: March 2017
This phase I trial studies the side effects and best dose of Chinese herbal formulation PHY906 when given together with sorafenib tosylate in treating patients with advanced liver cancer. Biological therapies, such as Chinese herbal formulation PHY906, may interfere with the growth of tumor cells and slow the growth of tumors. Sorafenib tosylate may stop the growth of tumor cells by blocking some of the enzymes needed for cell growth. Sorafenib tosylate may also stop the growth of liver cancer by blocking blood flow to the tumor. Giving Chinese herbal formulation PHY906 together with sorafenib tosylate may work better in treating advanced liver cancer.

Condition Intervention Phase
Adult Primary Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Advanced Adult Primary Liver Cancer
Advanced Adult Hepatocellular Carcinoma
BCLC Stage B Adult Hepatocellular Carcinoma
BCLC Stage C Adult Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Dietary Supplement: Chinese herbal formulation PHY906
Drug: sorafenib tosylate
Other: laboratory biomarker analysis
Other: pharmacological study
Phase 1

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: No masking
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Phase I Open Label Study Investigating the Combination of KD018 and Sorafenib (Nexavar) in Patients With Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by City of Hope Medical Center:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Recommended phase II dose, determined according to incidence of dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) graded using the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE) version 4 [ Time Frame: 28 days ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Adverse events as determined by NCI CTCAE version 4 [ Time Frame: Up to 4 weeks after completion of study treatment ]
  • Serious adverse events as determined by NCI CTCAE version 4 [ Time Frame: Up to 4 weeks after completion of study treatment ]
  • Discontinuation rate [ Time Frame: Up to 6 years ]
  • Dose adjustment rate [ Time Frame: Up to 6 years ]
  • Tumor response in terms of best overall response, assessed using RECIST [ Time Frame: Up to 6 years ]
  • Sorafenib tosylate concentration after co-administration with Chinese herbal formulation PHY906 [ Time Frame: Baseline; 1 hour post-dose; 2 hours post-dose ]

Other Outcome Measures:
  • Change in cytokine/chemokine levels [ Time Frame: Baseline to up to 6 years ]
  • Change in levels of soluble biomarkers [ Time Frame: Baseline to up to 6 years ]

Estimated Enrollment: 18
Actual Study Start Date: May 6, 2013
Estimated Study Completion Date: December 2018
Estimated Primary Completion Date: December 2018 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Treatment (Chinese herbal formulation PHY906 and sorafenib)
Patients receive Chinese herbal formulation PHY906 PO BID on days 1-4, 8-11, 15-18, 21-24 and sorafenib tosylate PO BID on days 1-28. Courses repeat every 28 days in the absence of disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.
Dietary Supplement: Chinese herbal formulation PHY906
Given PO
Other Names:
  • PHY-906
  • KD018
Drug: sorafenib tosylate
Given PO
Other Names:
  • BAY 43-9006
  • BAY 43-9006 Tosylate Salt
  • BAY 54-9085
  • Nexavar
  • SFN
Other: laboratory biomarker analysis
Correlative studies
Other: pharmacological study
Correlative studies
Other Name: pharmacological studies

  Hide Detailed Description

Detailed Description:


I. To characterize the safety and tolerability of KD018 (Chinese herbal formulation PHY906) in combination with daily sorafenib (sorafenib tosylate) and to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of the combination of KD018 plus sorafenib to bring forward into phase 2.


I. To describe the efficacy of the combination of KD018 plus sorafenib at the explored dose-levels in terms of best overall response as defined by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) guidelines.

II. To assess the safety and tolerability of the combination of KD018 plus sorafenib as measured by the rate and severity of adverse events (AEs).

III. To determine the steady state of sorafenib after KD018 exposure at pre-dose and 1 hour and 2 hours post-dose at the explored combination dose-levels using concentrations at pre-dose (Cmin) and at 1 hour (C1h) and 2 hours (C2h) post-dose.


I. To assess the effect of treatment on soluble markers of angiogenesis, fibroblast growth factor (FGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), placental growth factor (PLGF), soluble vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 1 (sVEGFR1), sVEGFR2, apoptosis (i.e. M30 monoclonal antibody [M30] and M65) and on the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) axis including molecules such as IGF-binding protein 2 (IGFII).

II. To correlate the above soluble biomarker measurements with clinical endpoints.

III. To examine the correlation between the soluble biomarkers.

IV. To examine the predictive relationship of immunohistochemical tumor biomarkers at baseline, i.e. phosphorylated ribosomal protein S6 kinase (pS6), p-protein kinase B (pAKT), p-mitogen-activated protein kinase 1 (ERK), p-mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (pMEK), hypoxia-inducible factor 2, alpha subunit (HIF2a), phosphatase and tensin homolog gene (PTEN), signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (acute-phase response factor) (STAT3) and tumor protein p53 (p53), as well as of mutational status, i.e. p53, phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase, catalytic subunit alpha (PIK3CA) and PTEN, with efficacy endpoints (time to progression [TTP]).

V. To determine if soluble apoptosis markers (M30/M65) correlate with proliferative markers at baseline (proliferation-related Ki-67 antigen [Ki67] and p53) in archival tumor samples.

VI. To examine the relationship of immunohistochemical and/or soluble biomarkers with subgroup classification namely, patients with hepatitis B virus (HBV), patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) and patients with other etiologies.

VII. To explore potential biomarker differences within patient subgroups, namely, patients with HBV, patients with HCV and patients with other etiologies.

VIII. To determine the effect of KD018 on cytokine/chemokine levels including interleukin (IL)-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-10, monocyte chemotactic protein 1 (MCP-1), tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, interferon (IFN)-alpha, VEGF, FGF-basic (b), sargramostim (GM-CSF), filgrastim (G-CSF).

IX. To explore potential relationships between efficacy and Cmin of sorafenib after co-administration with KD018 and between occurrence of adverse events and C1h/C2h endpoints (efficacy, safety, pharmacokinetics [PK]).

OUTLINE: This is a phase I, dose-escalation study of Chinese herbal formulation PHY906.

Patients receive Chinese herbal formulation PHY906 orally (PO) twice daily (BID) on days 1-4, 8-11, 15-18, 21-24 and sorafenib tosylate PO BID on days 1-28. Courses repeat every 28 days in the absence of disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.

After completion of study treatment, patients are followed up every 3 months.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Ability to take oral drugs
  • Diagnosis of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) according to the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) guidelines
  • HCC stage B or C according to the Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC)
  • Previous or current use of sorafenib allowed
  • Measurable disease according to RECIST, i.e. at least one measurable lesion; this lesion should not have been previously treated with local therapy; a treated lesion may be used where these lesions are the only lesions available for evaluation and have shown definite progression since their last local treatment; local therapy must have been completed at least four weeks prior to baseline evaluation
  • Patients with an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status of 0 or 1
  • Cirrhotic status of current Child-Pugh class A and B with no encephalopathy and no ascites (ascites controlled by diuretics is also excluded in this study); Child-Pugh status should be calculated based on clinical findings and laboratory results during the screening period
  • For patients with positive HBV-deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and/or positive of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) results, they must be treated with anti-virals, as prophylaxis at least 1-2 weeks prior to receiving study drug, cycle 1, day 1
  • Absolute neutrophil count (ANC) >= 1.5 x 10^9/L
  • Platelets >= 75000 x 10^6/L
  • Hemoglobin (Hgb) >= 9 g/dL
  • Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) =< 5 x upper limit of normal (ULN)
  • Serum creatinine =< 1.5 x ULN
  • Ability to understand and willingness to sign a written informed consent and to be able to follow the visit schedule
  • Life expectancy of approximately 6 months
  • Women of child-bearing potential and men must agree to use adequate contraception (hormonal or barrier method of birth control or abstinence) prior to study entry and for three months following duration of study participation; should a woman become pregnant, or suspect that she is pregnant while participating on the trial, she should inform her treating physician immediately
  • All subjects must have the ability to understand and the willingness to sign a written informed consent
  • Previous or current use of sorafenib and previous use of tamoxifen is allowed as previous systemic therapy

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Patients currently receiving any anti-cancer therapy, except sorafenib, or who have received any local anti-cancer therapy =< 4 weeks prior to baseline computed tomography (CT)/magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, prior to cycle 1 treatment
  • Active bleeding during the last 30 days prior to cycle 1 treatment including variceal bleeding (esophageal varices should be treated according to standard practice e.g. ligation/banding and procedure completed 30 days prior to cycle 1 treatment)
  • Patients with a known hypersensitivity to KD018 or known hypersensitivity to sorafenib or contraindications to sorafenib based on the local sorafenib label
  • Known history of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) seropositivity (HIV testing is not mandatory)
  • Any severe and/or uncontrolled medical conditions including:

    • Unstable angina pectoris, symptomatic congestive heart failure, myocardial infarction =< 6 months prior to cycle 1 treatment, serious uncontrolled cardiac arrhythmia, uncontrolled hypertension
    • Previous transient ischemic attack (TIA), cerebral vascular accident (CVA), symptomatic posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) within last 6 months of cycle 1 treatment
    • Congenital long QT syndrome
    • Patients with active alcohol intake
    • Acute and chronic, active infectious disorders and nonmalignant medical illnesses that are uncontrolled or whose control may be jeopardized by the complications of this study therapy, in the opinion of the investigator, except chronic HBV or HCV
    • Impairment of gastrointestinal function or who have gastrointestinal disease that may significantly alter the absorption of study drugs (e.g., ulcerative disease, uncontrolled nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, malabsorption syndrome)
  • Patients receiving chronic treatment with corticosteroids (except for intermittent topical or local injection or aldosterone) or another immunosuppressive agent
  • Patients treated with drugs known to be strong inhibitors or inducers of isoenzyme cytochrome P450, family 3, subfamily A (CYP3A) unless the drugs are medically necessary and no substitutes are available
  • Patients who have undergone major surgery =< 2 weeks prior to starting study drug or who have not recovered from surgery
  • Patients who have received an investigative drug or therapy within the last 30 days prior to cycle 1 treatment
  • Pregnant and/or breastfeeding women
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01666756

United States, California
City of Hope Medical Center
Duarte, California, United States, 91010
Sponsors and Collaborators
City of Hope Medical Center
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Principal Investigator: Joseph Chao, MD City of Hope Medical Center
  More Information

Responsible Party: City of Hope Medical Center Identifier: NCT01666756     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 11043
NCI-2012-01324 ( Registry Identifier: CTRP (Clinical Trial Reporting Program) )
5P01CA154295-02 ( US NIH Grant/Contract Award Number )
Study First Received: August 14, 2012
Last Updated: March 8, 2017

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Carcinoma, Hepatocellular
Liver Neoplasms
Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial
Neoplasms by Histologic Type
Digestive System Neoplasms
Neoplasms by Site
Digestive System Diseases
Liver Diseases
Antineoplastic Agents
Protein Kinase Inhibitors
Enzyme Inhibitors
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Vitamin B Complex
Growth Substances
Physiological Effects of Drugs processed this record on April 28, 2017