Purpose: Recurrent grade III-IV gliomas have a dismal prognosis with minimal improvements in survival seen following currently available salvage therapy. This study was conducted to determine if the combination of a novel antiangiogenic therapy, bevacizumab, and a cytotoxic agent, irinotecan, is safe and effective for patients with recurrent grade III-IV glioma.
Experimental design: We conducted a phase II trial of bevacizumab and irinotecan in adults with recurrent grade III-IV glioma. Patients with evidence of intracranial hemorrhage on initial brain magnetic resonance imaging were excluded. Patients were scheduled to receive bevacizumab and irinotecan i.v. every 2 weeks of a 6-week cycle. Bevacizumab was administered at 10 mg/kg. The dose of irinotecan was determined based on antiepileptic use: patients taking enzyme-inducing antiepileptic drugs received 340 mg/m(2), whereas patients not taking enzyme-inducing antiepileptic drugs received 125 mg/m(2). Toxicity and response were assessed.
Results: Thirty-two patients were assessed (23 with grade IV glioma and 9 with grade III glioma). Radiographic responses were noted in 63% (20 of 32) of patients (14 of 23 grade IV patients and 6 of 9 grade III patients). The median progression-free survival was 23 weeks for all patients (95% confidence interval, 15-30 weeks; 20 weeks for grade IV patients and 30 weeks for grade III patients). The 6-month progression-free survival probability was 38% and the 6-month overall survival probability was 72%. No central nervous system hemorrhages occurred, but three patients developed deep venous thromboses or pulmonary emboli, and one patient had an arterial ischemic stroke.
Conclusions: The combination of bevacizumab and irinotecan is an active regimen for recurrent grade III-IV glioma with acceptable toxicity.