Background: Bevacizumab significantly improves survival when added to chemotherapy for metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). The Bevacizumab Expanded Access Trial (BEAT) evaluated the safety and efficacy of bevacizumab plus first-line chemotherapy in a general cohort of patients with mCRC.
Patients and methods: Patients with unresectable mCRC received chemotherapy (physician's choice) plus bevacizumab [5 mg/kg every 2 weeks (5-fluorouracil regimens) or 7.5 mg/kg every 3 weeks (capecitabine regimens)]. The primary end point was safety, including prospective data collection in patients receiving unanticipated surgery during the study. Secondary objectives were progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS).
Results: The final analysis comprised 1914 assessable patients (male 58%; median age 59 years). Chemotherapy included 5-fluorouracil/leucovorin (5-FU/LV) + oxaliplatin (29%), irinotecan plus 5-FU/LV (26%), capecitabine plus oxaliplatin (18%) and monotherapy (16%). Serious/grade 3-5 adverse events of interest for bevacizumab included bleeding (3%), gastrointestinal perforation (2%), arterial thromboembolism (1%), hypertension (5.3%), proteinuria (1%) and wound-healing complications (1%). Sixty-day mortality was 3%. Median PFS was 10.8 months [95% confidence interval (CI) 10.4-11.3 months] and median OS reached 22.7 months (95% CI 21.7-23.8 months).
Conclusions: The BEAT study shows that the efficacy and safety profile of bevacizumab in routine clinical practice is consistent with results observed in prospective randomised clinical trials and another large observational study in the United States (BRiTE study).