BACKGROUND: Oral temozolomide has shown similar efficacy to dacarbazine in phase III trials with median progression-free survival (PFS) of 2.1 months. Bevacizumab has an inhibitory effect on the proliferation of melanoma and sprouting endothelial cells. We evaluated the addition of bevacizumab to temozolomide to improve efficacy in stage IV melanoma.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Previously untreated metastatic melanoma patients with Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of two or more were treated with temozolomide 150 mg/m(2) days 1-7 orally and bevacizumab 10 mg/kg body weight i.v. day 1 every 2 weeks until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. The primary end point was disease stabilisation rate [complete response (CR), partial response (PR) or stable disease (SD)] at week 12 (DSR12); secondary end points were best overall response, PFS, overall survival (OS) and adverse events.
RESULTS: Sixty-two patients (median age 59 years) enrolled at nine Swiss centres. DSR12 was 52% (PR: 10 patients and SD: 22 patients). Confirmed overall response rate was 16.1% (CR: 1 patient and PR: 9 patients). Median PFS and OS were 4.2 and 9.6 months. OS (12.0 versus 9.2 months; P = 0.014) was higher in BRAF V600E wild-type patients.
CONCLUSIONS: The primary end point was surpassed showing promising activity of this bevacizumab/temozolomide combination with a favourable toxicity profile. Response and OS were significantly higher in BRAF wild-type patients.
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