Phase II trial of bevacizumab and erlotinib in carcinomas of unknown primary site: the Minnie Pearl Cancer Research Network

John D Hainsworth, David R Spigel, Cindy Farley, Dana S Thompson, Dianna L Shipley, F Anthony Greco
Journal of Clinical Oncology 2007 May 1, 25 (13): 1747-52

PURPOSE: Treatment remains poor for many patients with carcinoma of unknown primary site (CUP), and no effective second-line treatment has been identified. Combination inhibition of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) with bevacizumab and erlotinib has proved efficacious and well tolerated in other solid tumors. We therefore have evaluated the efficacy and toxicity of this combination in patients with CUP.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with CUP who either had received previous chemotherapy or were previously untreated with poor-prognosis clinical features were eligible for this study. All patients received bevacizumab 10 mg/kg IV every 2 weeks, along with erlotinib 150 mg orally daily. Patients were re-evaluated after 8 weeks of treatment; those with objective response or stable disease continued treatment until disease progression.

RESULTS: Forty-seven (92%) of 51 patients received at least 8 weeks of treatment. Five patients (10%) had partial responses, and 29 patients (61%) had stable disease as the best response. The median survival for the entire group was 7.4 months, with 33% of patients alive at 1 year. This regimen was well tolerated by most patients.

CONCLUSION: The combination of bevacizumab and erlotinib has substantial activity in the treatment of patients with CUP. The median survival is superior to survival previously reported with second-line chemotherapy, and is similar to the results of many first-line chemotherapy trials in this setting. This regimen merits further evaluation in patients with CUP.

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