Purpose: To investigate the efficacy and safety of bevacizumab plus carboplatin and paclitaxel in patients with advanced or recurrent non-small-cell lung cancer.
Patients and methods: In a phase II trial, 99 patients were randomly assigned to bevacizumab 7.5 (n = 32) or 15 mg/kg (n = 35) plus carboplatin (area under the curve = 6) and paclitaxel (200 mg/m2) every 3 weeks or carboplatin and paclitaxel alone (n = 32). Primary efficacy end points were time to disease progression and best confirmed response rate. On disease progression, patients in the control arm had the option to receive single-agent bevacizumab 15 mg/kg every 3 weeks.
Results: Compared with the control arm, treatment with carboplatin and paclitaxel plus bevacizumab (15 mg/kg) resulted in a higher response rate (31.5% v 18.8%), longer median time to progression (7.4 v 4.2 months) and a modest increase in survival (17.7 v 14.9 months). Of the 19 control patients that crossed over to single-agent bevacizumab, five experienced stable disease, and 1-year survival was 47%. Bleeding was the most prominent adverse event and was manifested in two distinct clinical patterns; minor mucocutaneous hemorrhage and major hemoptysis. Major hemoptysis was associated with squamous cell histology, tumor necrosis and cavitation, and disease location close to major blood vessels.
Conclusion: Bevacizumab in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel improved overall response and time to progression in patients with advanced or recurrent non-small-cell lung cancer. Patients with nonsquamous cell histology appear to be a subpopulation with improved outcome and acceptable safety risks.