Supplementary Material for: Treatment Efficacy Differences of Sorafenib for Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials

<b><i>Objectives:</i></b> Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a heterogeneous disease. We explored whether any specific subgroups of patients may gain more survival benefits from sorafenib as the first-line therapy for advanced HCC. <b><i>Methods:</i></b> PubMed and the Cochrane library were searched for phase III clinical trials that compared sorafenib with other treatments as first-line therapy for advanced HCC. We retrieved data from the published articles and then calculated synthesized hazard ratios (HRs) of overall mortality for patients of different subgroups, using patients who received other treatments as the reference. <b><i>Results:</i></b> Four phase III clinical trials comparing sorafenib with other treatments were included in this study. The HRs were not significantly different between patients from various geographic regions (p = 0.183), patients with different Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance statuses (p = 0.699), or patients with different tumor involvement (p = 0.221). By contrast, the synthesized HR for hepatitis C virus (HCV)+ patients was 0.65 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.53-0.80], which was significantly lower than that for HCV- patients (0.87, 95% CI 0.79-0.96, p = 0.013). <b><i>Conclusions:</i></b> As the first-line therapy for advanced HCC, sorafenib might provide more survival benefits to HCV+ patients than to HCV- patients.