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An expert panel was convened to reach a consensus on the current use of sorafenib in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). A multinational, multidisciplinary group of experts objectively reviewed clinical data of sorafenib and considered clinical experience to develop statements summarizing our consensus on the current use of sorafenib. Sorafenib is the standard of care for Child–Pugh (CP) A patients with advanced HCC (i.e. not amenable to surgery or locoregional treatment). There is currently insufficient evidence to support the routine clinical use of sorafenib in CP B patients, but sorafenib can be offered as an option for those with compensated liver cirrhosis. Patients with stable performance status who have progressive disease during sorafenib treatment can be maintained on sorafenib, although there are no clear data supporting the continuation of sorafenib in these patients. The effectiveness of the adjuvant use of sorafenib in preventing recurrence after resection or local ablation, or in combination with transarterial chemoembolization, are being evaluated in clinical studies. In conclusion, sorafenib has extended treatment options for patients with HCC, and is now established as the standard of care for CP A patients with HCC not amenable to surgery or locoregional treatment. Based on its multikinase-inhibitor activity and proven efficacy in prolonging survival in HCC, broader use – including a subgroup of patients with CP B (clinically compensated cirrhosis) and earlier disease stages – might be expected dependent on the results of ongoing studies of safety and clinically relevant benefit in these patients.