NCCTG N0821 (Alliance): a phase II first-line study of pemetrexed, carboplatin, and bevacizumab in elderly patients with advanced nonsquamous non-small-cell lung cancer with good performance status

Grace K Dy, Julian R Molina, Yingwei Qi, Rafat Ansari, Sachdev Thomas, Helen J Ross, Gamini Soori, Daniel Anderson, Marie Christine Aubry, Jeffrey Meyers, Araba A Adjei, Sumithra Mandrekar, Alex A Adjei
Journal of Thoracic Oncology 2014, 9 (8): 1146-53

BACKGROUND: We hypothesized that the combination of bevacizumab, carboplatin, and pemetrexed will be an effective first-line regimen in fit, elderly patients with nonsquamous non-small-cell lung cancer.

METHODS: Treatment-naïve, stage IIIB/IV nonsquamous non-small-cell lung cancer patients more than 70 years old with good performance status (Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status 0-1) and adequate organ function were eligible. Carboplatin area under the curve 6, pemetrexed 500 mg/m, and bevacizumab 15 mg/kg were administered on day 1 of each 21-day cycle (up to six cycles) followed by maintenance pemetrexed and bevacizumab. The primary end point of 6-month progression-free survival rate of at least 70% was assessed using a one-stage binomial design. Quality of life (QOL) questionnaires were administered. Polymorphisms in genes encoding relevant proteins (drug targets, transport, and metabolism proteins) were correlated with treatment outcome.

RESULTS: Fifty-seven eligible patients were enrolled. Median age was 74.5 years. Median treatment cycles received was 6. The most common grade 3 or higher non-hematologic adverse events were fatigue (26%) and hypertension (11%); 16% had grade 4 neutropenia and 6.5% had grade 4 thrombocytopenia. Three patients experienced grade 3/4 hemorrhagic events (one pulmonary, two gastrointestinal). Primary end point of PFS6 was 60% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 45.9-73%). Median PFS was 7.0 months (95% CI: 5.9-10.1), median overall survival was 13.7 months (95% CI: 9.4-16.8). Polymorphic KDR and VEGFA variants correlated with survival and toxicity, respectively. There was no significant change in overall QOL scores over time.

CONCLUSION: This regimen is feasible and did not decrease the QOL in this study population. However, it did not meet the primary efficacy end point.

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