HOUSTON The angiogenesis inhibitor bevacizumab (Avastin) failed to increase overall survival (OS) or statistically significant progression-free survival (PFS) for glioblastoma patients in the frontline setting, according to a study led by researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
The study appears in the New England Journal of Medicine, and was first presented on the plenary session of the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2013 Annual Meeting by Mark Gilbert, M.D., professor in MD Anderson's Department of Neuro-Oncology.
Glioblastoma is both the most common and lethal form of brain cancer. More than 12,000 people will be diagnosed with the disease in 2013, with an average survival rate of less than 18 months, said Gilbert.
Bevacizumab works as a monoclonal antibody against VEGF-A, which is produced by glioblastoma to stimulate blood vessel growth. The angiogenesis inhibitor first showed promise in glioblastoma as clinicians reported positive results treating the disease under approved compassionate use.
Numerous institutional studies then found similar results: a 35-40 percent objective response rate, or tumor shrinkage, of more than 50 percent, and a six-month PFS rate in the mid-30 percent, said Gilbert, the study's senior author. With those findings, in May 2009, the FDA granted an accelerated registration of bevacizumab in the second-line setting.
However, before this trial, no randomized, double-blind studies with the drug in glioblastoma had been conducted.
"Obviously, glioblastoma is a cancer with too few effective therapies," said Gilbert, who also holds the Blanche Bender Professorship in Cancer Research. "When we launched this study, those in the field of brain cancer both the scientific and patient communities -- were excited. Bevacizumab recently received approval in the second-line (recurrent disease) setting, and we knew some physicians were already giving
|Contact: Laura Sussman|
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center