Background: The best treatment for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and a poor performance status is not well defined. In this phase 2 trial, patients were randomized to receive treatment with either single-agent pemetrexed or 1 of 2 combination regimens.
Methods: Patients with newly diagnosed, histologically confirmed nonsquamous NSCLC and an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status of 2 were stratified by age and serum albumin level and were randomized (1:1:1) to 1 of 3 regimens: pemetrexed (arm 1), pemetrexed and bevacizumab (arm 2), or pemetrexed, carboplatin, and bevacizumab (arm 3). The response to treatment was assessed every 2 cycles; responding and stable patients continued treatment until progression or unacceptable toxicity.
Results: One hundred seventy-two patients were randomized, 162 patients began the study treatment, and 146 patients completed 2 cycles and were evaluated for their response. The median progression-free survival (PFS) was 2.8 months in arm 1, 4.0 months in arm 2, and 4.8 months in arm 3. The overall response rates were 15% in arm 1, 31% in arm 2, and 44% in arm 3. The overall survival was similar in the 3 treatment arms. All 3 regimens were relatively well tolerated. Patients receiving bevacizumab had an increased incidence of hypertension, proteinuria, and bleeding episodes, but most events were mild or moderate.
Conclusions: All 3 regimens were feasible for patients with advanced NSCLC and an ECOG performance status of 2. The addition of bevacizumab to pemetrexed increased the overall response rate. The efficacy of pemetrexed/carboplatin/bevacizumab (median PFS, 4.8 months) approached the prespecified study PFS goal of 5 months. Larger studies will be necessary to define the role of bevacizumab in addition to standard pemetrexed and carboplatin in this population. Cancer 2018;124:1982-91. © 2018 American Cancer Society.
Keywords: bevacizumab; carboplatin; non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC); pemetrexed; randomized phase 2.
© 2018 American Cancer Society.