Background: Combination of bevacizumab and weekly paclitaxel showed synergitic effects, anti-tumor efficacy and a good toxicity profile for patients with breast cancer but has never been evaluated in non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We retrospectively reviewed safety and efficacy of this regimen in metastatic non-squamous NSCLC as fourth-line therapy or beyond.
Methods: Patients were identified from a prospective database. Treatment consisted in paclitaxel 80 mg/m(2) on days 1, 8 and 15 and bevacizumab 15 mg/kg on day 1, every 3 weeks until progression or unacceptable toxicity.
Results: Twenty patients were included in this study. Objective response rate at first evaluation was 40% (8/20), confirmed response rate was 15% (3/20) and disease control rate was 75% (15/20). The median progression-free survival and overall survival were 6.4 months (CI95% 4.1-9) and 9.6 months (CI95% 7-19.7). Grade 3-4 adverse events included neutropenia (4/20), onycholysis (2/20) and infection (2/20). One patient died from a bowel perforation and another one died from unknown cause. Prolonged responses were observed in a patient who had received bevacizumab as part of first-line chemotherapy and in another one who harbored an ALK rearrangement.
Conclusions: In our experience, combination of bevacizumab and weekly paclitaxel exhibited acceptable toxicity and had encouraging anti-tumor efficacy as fourth-line treatment or beyond for non-squamous NSCLC patients, supporting further evaluation in larger prospective studies.
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