The Breast Avastin Trial: phase II study of bevacizumab maintenance therapy after induction chemotherapy with docetaxel and capecitabine for the first-line treatment of patients with locally recurrent or metastatic breast cancer

G Bisagni, A Musolino, M Panebianco, A De Matteis, F Nuzzo, A Ardizzoni, S Gori, T Gamucci, R Passalacqua, R Gnoni, G Moretti, C Boni
Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology 2013, 71 (4): 1051-7

BACKGROUND: Therapeutic approach for patients with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) is still controversial. This study was conducted to assess the efficacy and safety of bevacizumab in combination with docetaxel plus capecitabine as first-line treatment for MBC. The feasibility of bevacizumab maintenance therapy in this setting was also evaluated.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: In this single-arm, multicenter phase II study, patients received bevacizumab 15 mg/kg and docetaxel 60 mg/m(2) on day 1, plus capecitabine 900 mg/m(2) twice daily on days 1-14 every 21 days. Treatment was administered for up to 6 cycles, then bevacizumab continued until progressive disease. The primary end point was progression-free survival (PFS); secondary end points were tumor response rate, overall survival, and toxicity.

RESULTS: Seventy-nine eligible patients were treated with bevacizumab in combination with docetaxel plus capecitabine. The overall response rate was 61 %, with a complete response rate of 8 % and a median duration of response of 10 months. At a median follow-up of 28 months, the median PFS was 11 months. Fifty-two (65 %) patients received bevacizumab maintenance therapy for a median duration of 7 months (range 1 to 33+). Neutropenia was the most common grade 3-4 toxicity (28.1 % of patients), and two fatal adverse events occurred (septic shock and gastrointestinal perforation).

CONCLUSIONS: Bevacizumab in combination with docetaxel and capecitabine demonstrates significant activity and quite acceptable toxicity profile as first-line treatment of MBC. Subsequent maintenance therapy with bevacizumab is feasible for a long period of stable disease. Results deserve confirmation.


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