Maintenance therapy with pemetrexed and bevacizumab versus pemetrexed monotherapy after induction therapy with carboplatin, pemetrexed, and bevacizumab in patients with advanced non-squamous non small cell lung cancer

Masato Karayama, Naoki Inui, Tomoyuki Fujisawa, Noriyuki Enomoto, Yutaro Nakamura, Shigeki Kuroishi, Koshi Yokomura, Naoki Koshimizu, Masaki Sato, Mikio Toyoshima, Toshihiro Shirai, Masafumi Masuda, Takashi Yamada, Shiro Imokawa, Takafumi Suda
European Journal of Cancer 2016, 58: 30-7

OBJECTIVES: Single agent maintenance therapy is widely accepted for advanced non-squamous non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, there is no consensus on the initial and maintenance phase regimens, and the clinical benefit of adding bevacizumab to cytotoxic drugs in the maintenance phase remains unclear.

METHODS: Chemotherapy-naïve patients with non-squamous NSCLC were randomly assigned to maintenance therapy with pemetrexed and bevacizumab or pemetrexed alone, after achieving disease control after four cycles of induction therapy with carboplatin (area under the curve = 6), pemetrexed (500 mg/m(2)), and bevacizumab (15 mg/kg). The primary end-point was 1-year progression-free survival (PFS) rate.

RESULTS: One hundred ten patients were enrolled in the study, with 55 patients assigned to the two groups. The mean 1-year PFS rate was 43.9% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 29.6-59.2%) in the combination maintenance group and 35.2% (95% CI: 22.1-51.0%) in the pemetrexed maintenance group, and the difference was not significant (p = 0.433). Median PFS measured from enrolment was 11.5 months (95% CI: 7.1-19.0) in the combination maintenance group and 7.3 months (95% CI: 5.7-14.1, hazard ratio: 0.73, 95% CI: 0.44-1.19, log-rank p = 0.198) in the pemetrexed maintenance group. Nasal haemorrhage, hypertension, and proteinuria were significantly more frequent in the combination maintenance group, but they were mild and tolerable.

CONCLUSION: Both maintenance therapy with pemetrexed alone and pemetrexed and bevacizumab in combination were feasible in patients with non-squamous NSCLC who have achieved disease control after induction therapy with carboplatin, pemetrexed, and bevacizumab. According to the selection design, differences in the superiority between these maintenance therapies were not demonstrated.

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