Background: We evaluated bevacizumab with metronomic etoposide among recurrent malignant glioma patients in a phase 2, open-label trial.
Methods: A total of 59 patients, including 27 with glioblastoma (GBM) and 32 with grade 3 malignant glioma, received 10 mg kg(-1) bevacizumab biweekly and 50 mg m(-2) etoposide daily for 21 consecutive days each month. The primary end point was a 6-month progression-free survival, and secondary end points included safety and overall survival. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), VEGFR-2, carbonic anhydrase 9 (CA9) and hypoxia-inducible factor-2alpha (HIF-2alpha) were assessed semiquantitatively in archival tumours using immunohistochemistry and were correlated with outcome.
Results: Among grade 3 and GBM patients, the 6-month progression-free survivals were 40.6% and 44.4%, the radiographic response rates were 22% and 37% and the median survivals were 63.1 and 44.4 weeks, respectively. Hypertension predicted better outcome among both grade 3 and GBM patients, whereas high CA9 and low VEGF were associated with poorer progression-free survival (PFS) among those with GBM. The most common grade > or = 3 adverse events included neutropaenia (24%), thrombosis (12%), infection (8%) and hypertension (3%). Two patients had asymptomatic, grade 1 intracranial haemorrhage and one on-study death occurred because of pulmonary embolism.
Conclusion: Bevacizumab with metronomic etoposide has increased toxicity compared with previous reports of bevacizumab monotherapy. Its anti-tumour activity is similar to that of bevacizumab monotherapy or bevacizumab plus irinotecan. (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00612430).