Background: The BELOB study, a randomised controlled phase 2 trial comparing lomustine, bevacizumab and combined lomustine and bevacizumab in patients with recurrent glioblastoma, showed that the 9-month overall survival rate was most promising in the combination arm. Here we report the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) results, a secondary trial end-point.
Methods: HRQoL was measured at baseline and every 6weeks until progression using the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) core questionnaire (QLQ-C30) and brain module (QLQ-BN20). HRQoL was assessed over time for five preselected scales (global health (GH), physical (PF) and social functioning (SF), motor dysfunction (MD) and communication deficit (CD)). Moreover, mean changes in HRQoL from baseline until progression were determined.
Results: 138/148 patients with at least a baseline HRQoL assessment were analysed. Over time, HRQoL remained relatively stable in all treatment arms for all five scales, at least during the first three treatment cycles. More than half (54-61%) of the patients showed stable (<10 point change) or improved (⩾10 point change) HRQoL during their progression-free time, except for SF (43%), irrespective of treatment arm. Deterioration of mean HRQoL was most profound at disease progression for all scales except SF, which deteriorated earlier in disease course. Compared to baseline, 40% of patients had clinically relevant (⩾10 points) worse GH, PF and SF, while 44% and 31% had increased MD and CD at disease progression, irrespective of treatment arm.
Conclusions: Bevacizumab, whether or not in combination with lomustine, did not negatively affect HRQoL in patients treated for recurrent glioblastoma in this randomised study.
Keywords: Bevacizumab; Brain tumour; Health-related quality of life; Randomised controlled trial; Recurrent glioblastoma.
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