Safety and efficacy of single-agent bevacizumab-containing therapy in elderly patients with platinum-resistant recurrent ovarian cancer: Subgroup analysis of the randomised phase III AURELIA trial

Gynecol Oncol. 2017 Jan;144(1):65-71. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2016.11.006. Epub 2016 Nov 18.


Background: The AURELIA trial demonstrated significantly improved progression-free survival (PFS) with bevacizumab added to chemotherapy for platinum-resistant ovarian cancer (PROC).

Methods: Patients with PROC were randomised to receive investigator-selected single-agent chemotherapy alone or with bevacizumab. Post-hoc exploratory analyses assessed efficacy, safety and patient-reported outcomes according to age <65 versus ≥65years.

Results: In the 133 patients (37%) aged ≥65years, baseline hypertension was more frequent and ascites was less common than in patients <65years. The magnitude of PFS benefit from bevacizumab was similar in patients ≥65 versus <65years (hazard ratio 0.44 [95% CI, 0.31-0.64] versus 0.49 [95% CI, 0.37-0.64], respectively, treatment-age interaction p=0.58), with similar improvements in response rates. Grade≥3 hypertension was more common with bevacizumab than chemotherapy alone in both subgroups, and more common in older than younger patients irrespective of treatment. However, there was no excess of other adverse events of specific interest for bevacizumab, including venous thromboembolic events, in older patients. More patients receiving bevacizumab in the younger but not the older subgroup showed improved gastrointestinal/abdominal symptoms.

Conclusion: In exploratory analyses, PFS and response rate improvement with bevacizumab were consistent in older and younger patients. Grade≥3 hypertension was more common in elderly bevacizumab-treated patients; careful monitoring is recommended. Overall, bevacizumab-containing therapy was well tolerated in a selected population aged ≥65years, suggesting a favourable benefit:risk profile. However, geriatric assessments are needed to improve selection of elderly patients potentially gaining symptom and quality of life improvements from bevacizumab-containing therapy.

Clinical trials registration: ClinicalTrials.govNCT00976911.

Keywords: Bevacizumab; Elderly; Ovarian cancer; Patient-reported outcomes; Platinum resistant.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Bevacizumab / administration & dosage
  • Bevacizumab / adverse effects
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Doxorubicin / administration & dosage
  • Doxorubicin / analogs & derivatives
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / chemically induced*
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / drug therapy*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Paclitaxel / administration & dosage
  • Patient Selection
  • Platinum Compounds
  • Polyethylene Glycols / administration & dosage
  • Topotecan / administration & dosage


  • Platinum Compounds
  • liposomal doxorubicin
  • Bevacizumab
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • Topotecan
  • Doxorubicin
  • Paclitaxel

Associated data