Background: Bevacizumab is a humanized IgG1 monoclonal antibody against VEGF. Because infusion-related hypersensitivity reactions (HSRs) are a concern with monoclonal antibodies, initial phase 1 trials used a 90-, 60-, then 30-min initial infusion sequence. We evaluated the impact of a shortened bevacizumab infusion (10 min) on toxicity in nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients.
Patients and methods: Consecutive patients with stage IV NSCLC eligible for anti-VEGF therapy received a platinum doublet plus bevacizumab 7.5 mg/kg infused over 10 min, every 3 weeks, in the outpatient setting. Blood pressure was monitored at home twice daily, and other toxicities (HSRs and proteinuria) were monitored at each treatment administration.
Results: Bevacizumab was given as a 10 min infusion in 55 patients (group A), and using the standard sequence in another 36 patients (group B). Hypertension (grade ≥ 2) was observed in 18/55 (32.7%) patients in group A and 13/36 (38.9%) patients in group B (p = 0.77). Similarly, no difference was seen regarding the incidence of grade ≥ 2 proteinuria (12.7% vs. 19.4%, p = 0.39), arterial thrombo-embolic events (0 in each group) or venous thromboembolic events (1.8% vs. 8.3%, p = 0.29).
Conclusions: Our data suggest that bevacizumab 7.5 mg/kg can be safely infused over 10 min in unselected NSCLC patients despite their cardio-vascular and respiratory comorbidities, saving time for both patients and caregivers.