Retrospective study of carmustine or lomustine with bevacizumab in recurrent glioblastoma patients who have failed prior bevacizumab

Neuro Oncol. 2014 Nov;16(11):1523-9. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/nou118. Epub 2014 Jun 23.


Background: Currently, there are no known effective treatments for recurrent glioblastoma once patients have progressed on a bevacizumab-containing regimen. We examined the efficacy of adding nitrosoureas to bevacizumab in patients who progressed while on an initial bevacizumab-containing regimen.

Methods: In this retrospective study, we identified adult patients with histologically confirmed glioblastoma (WHO grade IV) who were treated with lomustine or carmustine in combination with bevacizumab as a second or third regimen after failing an alternative initial bevacizumab-containing regimen. Response rate (RR), 6-month progression free survival (PFS6), and progression-free survival (PFS) were assessed for each treatment.

Results: Forty-two patients were identified (28 males) with a median age of 49 years (range, 24-78 y). Of 42 patients, 28 received lomustine (n = 22) or carmustine (n = 6) with bevacizumab as their second bevacizumab-containing regimen, and 14 received lomustine (n = 11) or carmustine (n = 3) as their third bevacizumab-containing regimen. While the median PFS for the initial bevacizumab-containing regimen was 16.3 weeks, the median PFS for the nitrosourea-containing bevacizumab regimen was 6.3 weeks. Patients had an RR of 44% and a PFS6 rate of 26% during the initial bevacizumab regimen and an RR of 0% and a PFS6 rate of 3% during the nitrosourea-containing bevacizumab regimen. There was increased grade 3-4 toxicity (45% vs 19%, P = .010) during the nitrosourea-containing bevacizumab regimen relative to the initial bevacizumab regimen. Median overall survival was 18.7 weeks from initiation of the nitrosourea-containing bevacizumab regimen.

Conclusion: The addition of lomustine or carmustine to bevacizumab after a patient has already progressed on a bevacizumab-containing regimen does not appear to provide benefit for most patients and is associated with additional toxicity with the doses used in this cohort.

Keywords: bevacizumab; malignant glioma; nitrosoureas; recurrent glioblastoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Bevacizumab
  • Brain Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Brain Neoplasms / mortality
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Carmustine / administration & dosage
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glioblastoma / drug therapy*
  • Glioblastoma / mortality
  • Glioblastoma / pathology
  • Humans
  • Lomustine / administration & dosage
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / mortality
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Salvage Therapy*
  • Survival Rate
  • Young Adult


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Bevacizumab
  • Lomustine
  • Carmustine