First-line bevacizumab-based therapy in advanced non-squamous non-small-cell lung cancer : analysis of the Italian patients enrolled in the SAiL study

Alessandra Bearz, Rodolfo Passalacqua, Oscar Alabiso, Saverio Cinieri, Cesare Gridelli, Claudia Cravesana, Lucio Crinò
Clinical Drug Investigation 2012, 32 (11): 755-60

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: First-line bevacizumab-based therapy has been shown to improve outcomes in patients with advanced non-squamous non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The recent international phase IV SAiL study (a Study of Avastin [bevacizumab] in combination with platinum-containing chemotherapy in patients with advanced or recurrent non-squamous cell Lung cancer) evaluated the safety and efficacy of bevacizumab combined with standard chemotherapy regimens in routine clinical practice. Here we report the results of a subanalysis of baseline characteristics and efficacy data for Italian patients enrolled in SAiL.

METHODS: In the SAiL study, patients with untreated locally advanced, metastatic or recurrent non-squamous NSCLC received bevacizumab (7.5 or 15 mg/kg) every 3 weeks plus chemotherapy for up to six cycles, followed by single-agent bevacizumab until disease progression. Efficacy was assessed in terms of time to disease progression (TTP) and overall survival (OS).

RESULTS: The Italian intent-to-treat population comprised 215 patients from a SAiL population of 2212 patients. At baseline, Italian patients tended to have less advanced disease than the overall population. Thus, the proportion of patients at enrollment with tumour stage IIIb and IV was 23.7 and 76.3 %, respectively, for the Italian population versus 19.7 and 80.3 % for the whole SAiL population. In addition, a higher proportion of Italian patients had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 (72.6 vs. 37.2 %) and the prevalence of co-morbid conditions was lower in Italian patients (59.5 % of Italian patients reported a co-morbid condition and 60.0 % were receiving non-oncological treatment compared with 73.3 and 73.4 %, respectively, of SAiL patients overall). The mean exposures to bevacizumab and to chemotherapy were comparable between the Italian patient group and overall patient population, although cisplatin doublets were more commonly employed in Italian patients whereas carboplatin doublets were more commonly employed in the overall SAiL population. The median TTP and OS times for Italian and SAiL populations were comparable (TTP, 7.8 months vs. 7.8 months; OS, 14.8 months vs. 14.6 months).

CONCLUSION: The results of this subanalysis of the SAiL study of bevacizumab treatment in routine clinical practice suggest that Italian oncologists tend to prescribe bevacizumab to a selected population of patients with less advanced disease than is the case in the overall population. Nevertheless, the first-line use of bevacizumab in combination with chemotherapy offers clinical benefits to Italian patients with advanced or recurrent non-squamous NSCLC.

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