BMJ Case Reports 2012; doi:10.1136/bcr-2012-007180
  • Novel treatment (new drug/intervention; established drug/procedure in new situation)

Unexpected remission of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with lung metastasis to the combination therapy of thalidomide and cyproheptadine: report of two cases and a preliminary HCC cell line study

  1. Cheng-Da Hsu3
  1. 1Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Ditmanson Medical Foundation Chia-Yi Christian Hospital, Chia-Yi, Taiwan
  2. 2Department of Biological Science, National Sun Yat-sen University, Chia-Yi, Taiwan
  3. 3Department of Medical Research, Ditmanson Medical Foundation Chia-Yi Christian Hospital, Chia-Yi, Taiwan
  1. Correspondence to Dr Cheng-Da Hsu, cych06390{at}


We reported two cases of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with lung metastases who were treated with a combination of thalidomide and cyproheptadine. The use of cyproheptadine in these two cases was originally for skin itching. Follow-up CT images revealed a complete remission of HCC in both of them after treatment for 6 months and 6 weeks, respectively. A following experimental cell line study demonstrated that cyproheptadine effectively reduced the viability of two HCC cell lines.

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