This randomized phase II–III trial sought to evaluate the efficacy and safety of adding bevacizumab (Bev) following induction chemotherapy (CT) in extensive small-cell lung cancer (SCLC).Patients and methods
Enrolled SCLC patients received two induction cycles of CT. Responders were randomly assigned 1:1 to receive four additional cycles of CT alone or CT plus Bev (7.5 mg/kg), followed by single-agent Bev until progression or unacceptable toxicity. The primary end point was the percentage of patients for whom disease remained controlled (still in response) at the fourth cycle.Results
In total, 147 patients were enrolled. Partial response was observed in 103 patients, 74 of whom were eligible for Bev and randomly assigned to the CT alone group (n = 37) or the CT plus Bev group (n = 37). Response assessment at the end of the fourth cycle showed that disease control did not differ between the two groups (89.2% versus 91.9% of patients remaining responders in CT alone versus CT plus Bev, respectively; Fisher's exact test: P = 1.00). Progression-free survival (PFS) since randomization did not significantly differ, with a median PFS of 5.5 months [95% confidence interval (CI) 4.9% to 6.0%] versus 5.3 months (95% CI 4.8% to 5.8%) in the CT alone and CT plus Bev groups, respectively [hazard ratio (HR) for CT alone: 1.1; 95% CI 0.7% to 1.7%; unadjusted P = 0.82]. Grade ≥2 hypertension and grade ≥3 thrombotic events were observed in 40% and 11% of patients, respectively, in the CT plus Bev group. Serum vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and soluble VEGF receptor titrations failed to identify predictive biomarkers.Conclusion
Administering 7.5 mg/kg Bev after induction did not improve outcome in extensive SCLC patients.