Background: State-of-the art therapy for recurrent ovarian cancer suitable for platinum-based re-treatment includes bevacizumab-containing combinations (eg, bevacizumab combined with carboplatin-paclitaxel or carboplatin-gemcitabine) or the most active non-bevacizumab regimen: carboplatin-pegylated liposomal doxorubicin. The aim of this head-to-head trial was to compare a standard bevacizumab-containing regimen versus carboplatin-pegylated liposomal doxorubicin combined with bevacizumab.
Methods: This multicentre, open-label, randomised, phase 3 trial, was done in 159 academic centres in Germany, France, Australia, Austria, and the UK. Eligible patients (aged ≥18 years) had histologically confirmed epithelial ovarian, primary peritoneal, or fallopian tube carcinoma with first disease recurrence more than 6 months after first-line platinum-based chemotherapy, and an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0-2. Patients were stratified by platinum-free interval, residual tumour, previous antiangiogenic therapy, and study group language, and were centrally randomly assigned 1:1 using randomly permuted blocks of size two, four, or six to receive six intravenous cycles of bevacizumab (15 mg/kg, day 1) plus carboplatin (area under the concentration curve [AUC] 4, day 1) plus gemcitabine (1000 mg/m2, days 1 and 8) every 3 weeks or six cycles of bevacizumab (10 mg/kg, days 1 and 15) plus carboplatin (AUC 5, day 1) plus pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (30 mg/m2, day 1) every 4 weeks, both followed by maintenance bevacizumab (15 mg/kg every 3 weeks in both groups) until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. There was no masking in this open-label trial. The primary endpoint was investigator-assessed progression-free survival according to Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors version 1.1. Efficacy data were analysed in the intention-to-treat population. Safety was analysed in all patients who received at least one dose of study drug. This completed study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01837251.
Findings: Between Aug 1, 2013, and July 31, 2015, 682 eligible patients were enrolled, of whom 345 were randomly assigned to receive carboplatin-pegylated liposomal doxorubicin-bevacizumab (experimental group) and 337 were randomly assigned to receive carboplatin-gemcitabine-bevacizumab (standard group). Median follow-up for progression-free survival at data cutoff (July 10, 2018) was 12·4 months (IQR 8·3-21·7) in the experimental group and 11·3 months (8·0-18·4) in the standard group. Median progression-free survival was 13·3 months (95% CI 11·7-14·2) in the experimental group versus 11·6 months (11·0-12·7) in the standard group (hazard ratio 0·81, 95% CI 0·68-0·96; p=0·012). The most common grade 3 or 4 adverse events were hypertension (88 [27%] of 332 patients in the experimental group vs 67 [20%] of 329 patients in the standard group) and neutropenia (40 [12%] vs 73 [22%]). Serious adverse events occurred in 33 (10%) of 332 patients in the experimental group and 28 (9%) of 329 in the standard group. Treatment-related deaths occurred in one patient in the experimental group (<1%; large intestine perforation) and two patients in the standard group (1%; one case each of osmotic demyelination syndrome and intracranial haemorrhage).
Interpretation: Carboplatin-pegylated liposomal doxorubicin-bevacizumab is a new standard treatment option for platinum-eligible recurrent ovarian cancer.
Funding: F Hoffmann-La Roche.
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