Bevacizumab for recurrent glioblastoma: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2021 Nov;25(21):6480-6491. doi: 10.26355/eurrev_202111_27092.


Objective: The phenomenon is that few randomized control trials (RCTs) directly compared the effects of bevacizumab with other types of standard treatments for recurrent glioblastoma (GBM). We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the efficacy of bevacizumab in recurrent GBM patients.

Materials and methods: We searched electronic databases (Medline, Embase, and Web of Science) contrasting the bevacizumab with standard treatments up to May 2021. For the continuous outcomes of median progression-free survival (PFS) and median overall survival (OS), we summarized the mean difference (MD) as the effective index. We used relative risk (RR) to estimate the data with a random-effects model to get the outcomes of objective response rate (ORR), 12-month OS, 6-month PFS, and any mentioned adverse events.

Results: A total of 807 patients in 5 RCTs included into our systematic review and meta-analysis. The results showed bevacizumab could provide benefits of the ORR (RR, 2.67; 95% CI: 1.14-6.26, p = 0.02), median PFS (MD, 1.12 months; 95% CI: 0.35-1.90 months, p = 0.005), but not the median OS (MD, -0.19 months; 95% CI: -1.37-0.99 months, p = 0.75). Whereas the rates of the secondary outcomes of interest were similar between the bevacizumab group and control group, including 6 month-PFS (RR, 1.23; 95% CI, 0.82-1.84, p = 0.32) and 12 month-OS (RR, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.79-1.09, p = 0.36). As for adverse events, patients with bevacizumab showed higher rates of grade 3/4 and any grade hypertension compared with those with standard treatments (RR, 3.71; 95% CI: 1.17-11.76, p = 0.03; RR, 2.68; 95% CI: 1.26-5.76, p = 0.01, respectively).

Conclusions: This study provides clear proof of the beneficial effects of bevacizumab treatment in recurrent GBM patients. The only observed adverse event was grade 3/4 or any grade hypertension.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Bevacizumab / adverse effects
  • Bevacizumab / therapeutic use*
  • Brain Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Glioblastoma / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / drug therapy*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Bevacizumab