Addition of bevacizumab to bolus fluorouracil and leucovorin in first-line metastatic colorectal cancer: Results of a randomized phase II trial

  • Kabbinavar F
  • Schulz J
  • McCleod M
 et al. 
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PURPOSE: Bevacizumab, a monoclonal antibody against vascular endothelial growth factor, increases survival when combined with irinotecan-based chemotherapy in first-line treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC). This randomized, phase II trial compared bevacizumab plus fluorouracil and leucovorin (FU/LV) versus placebo plus FU/LV as first-line therapy in patients considered nonoptimal candidates for first-line irinotecan. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients had metastatic CRC and one of the following characteristics: age [≥] 65 years, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status 1 or 2, serum albumin [≤] 3.5 g/dL, or prior abdominal/pelvic radiotherapy. Patients were randomly assigned to FU/LV/placebo (n = 105) or FU/LV/bevacizumab (n = 104). The primary end point was overall survival. Secondary end points were progression-free survival, response rate, response duration, and quality of life. Safety was also assessed. RESULTS: Median survival was 16.6 months for the FU/LV/bevacizumab group and 12.9 months for the FU/LV/placebo group (hazard ratio, 0.79; P = .16). Median progression-free survival was 9.2 months (FU/LV/bevacizumab) and 5.5 months (FU/LV/placebo); hazard ratio was 0.50; P = .0002. Response rates were 26.0% (FU/LV/bevacizumab) and 15.2% (FU/LV/placebo) (P = .055); duration of response was 9.2 months (FU/LV/bevacizumab) and 6.8 months (FU/LV/placebo); hazard ratio was 0.42; P = .088. Grade 3 hypertension was more common with bevacizumab treatment (16% v 3%) but was controlled with oral medication and did not cause study drug discontinuation. CONCLUSION: Addition of bevacizumab to FU/LV as first-line therapy in CRC patients who were not considered optimal candidates for first-line irinotecan treatment provided clinically significant patient benefit, including statistically significant improvement in progression-free survival

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  • Fairooz F. Kabbinavar

  • Joseph Schulz

  • Michael McCleod

  • Taral Patel

  • John T. Hamm

  • J. Randolph Hecht

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