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Bevacizumab plus chemotherapy as third- or later-line therapy in patients with heavily treated metastatic colorectal cancer

Authors Yang Q, Yin C, Liao F, Huang Y, He W, Jiang C, Guo G, Zhang B, Xia L

Received 16 May 2015

Accepted for publication 23 June 2015

Published 1 September 2015 Volume 2015:8 Pages 2407—2413


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Professor Daniele Santini

Qiong Yang,1–4,* Chenxi Yin,1,3,4,* Fangxin Liao,1,3,4 Yuanyuan Huang,1,3,4 Wenzhuo He,1,3,4 Chang Jiang,1,3,4 Guifang Guo,1,3,4 Bei Zhang,1,3,4 Liangping Xia1,3,4

1VIP Region, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, Guangdong, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Oncology, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital, Guangzhou, Guangdong, People’s Republic of China; 3State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, Guangdong, People’s Republic of China; 4Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine, Guangzhou, Guangdong, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: Currently available third- or later-line therapy for metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) is limited in its efficacy, with a weak survival benefit in patients who progressed after two or more lines of standard therapy. Our retrospective study aimed to explore the value of bevacizumab plus chemotherapy in this setting.
Methods: Patients with mCRC who received fluoropyrimidine, oxaliplatin, and irinotecan as first- and second-line chemotherapy were selected for inclusion. Treatment consisted of bevacizumab plus chemotherapy. Chemotherapy consisted mainly of oxaliplatin, irinotecan, and fluoropyrimidine.
Results: Between February 2010 and December 2012, 35 consecutive patients with mCRC were treated with bevacizumab plus chemotherapy as a third- or later-line treatment. No complete responses, seven partial responses (20%), 22 stable disease responses (62.9%), and six progressive disease responses (17.1%) were obtained, producing an objective response rate of 20% and a disease control rate of 82.9%. With a median follow-up of 11.3 months (range: 0.7–48.0 months), the median progression-free survival was 5.98 months (95% confidence interval: 4.76–7.2 months), and the median overall survival was 14.77 months (95% confidence interval: 11.45–18.1 months). In the univariate analysis, patients with a primary colon tumor might have had a longer overall survival than patients with a primary rectal tumor (18.8 months vs 11.1 months, respectively; P=0.037). Common chemotherapy-related toxicities were nausea/vomiting (48.6%), fatigue (34.3%), leucopenia (40%), neutropenia (42.9%), and anemia (42.9%), with one patient with grade 3 neutropenia, and two patients with grade 3 thrombocytopenia. The common bevacizumab-associated toxicity was hypertension (31.4%). None of the patients discontinued therapy or died because of bevacizumab-associated toxicities.
Conclusion: Our data showed that adding bevacizumab to third- or later-line therapy might lead to tumor control and improved survival in heavily pretreated mCRC patients. In addition, preliminary data suggested that primary colon cancer was more likely to benefit from bevacizumab-containing regimens. Toxicities were acceptable, and no new toxicity was identified. Further studies are needed to validate these findings.

Keywords: bevacizumab, chemotherapy, metastatic colorectal cancer

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