WEDNESDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- For women with ovarian cancer, the addition of bevacizumab to standard chemotherapy results in significantly improved progression-free survival (PFS), according to two phase 3 studies published in the Dec. 29 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Robert A. Burger, M.D., from the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, and colleagues evaluated the addition of bevacizumab to standard front-line therapy for 1,873 women with stage III or IV epithelial ovarian cancer. The participants were randomly allocated to receive paclitaxel plus carboplatin (control group), bevacizumab-initiation treatment, or bevacizumab-throughout treatment. PFS was the primary end point. The median PFS in the control, bevacizumab-initiation, and bevacizuman-throughout groups was 10.3, 11.2, and 14.1 months, respectively. The hazard ratio (HR) for progression to death was 0.908 for the bevacizumab-initiation group (95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.795 to 1.040) and 0.717 (95 percent CI, 0.625 to 0.824) for the bevacizumab-throughout group.
Timothy J. Perren, M.D., from St. James's University Hospital in Leeds, U.K., and colleagues investigated the effect of bevacizumab on survival in 1,528 women from 11 countries with ovarian cancer (90 percent with epithelial ovarian cancer; 70 percent with stage IIIC or IV cancer). The participants were randomly allocated to receive carboplatin and paclitaxel (standard therapy) or standard therapy plus bevacizumab. PFS at 36 months was significantly longer for standard therapy plus bevacizumab (21.8 versus 20.3 months; HR for progression or death with adjuvant bevacizumab, 0.81). In an updated analysis at 42 months, PFS was significantly longer with bevacizumab (24.1 versus 22.4 months).
"Bevacizumab improved progression-free survival in women with ovarian cancer," Perren and colleagues write.
Burger's study was partially funded by Genentech; Perren's study was partially funded by Roche, both of which manufacture bevacizumab.
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