Safety and efficacy of bevacizumab in combination with first-line chemotherapy in advanced breast cancer: Data from the Italian cohort of the ATHENA trial

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Abstract

Aims and background.

The ATHENA international study investigated the safety and efficacy of bevacizumab plus first-line chemotherapy in locally recurrent/metastatic breast cancer in routine oncology practice. The present paper focuses on the outcomes of the Italian cohort of the study.

Methods.

A subgroup analysis was carried out to report on the safety (primary endpoint) and efficacy (secondary endpoint) outcomes of patients recruited from Italian Centers.

Results.

A total of 278 patients were included. Median age was 57 years (range, 26–85), and ECOG performance status was 0 or 1 in 96% of the patients. Bevacizumab was predominantly combined with a taxane monotherapy: paclitaxel (41.4%), docetaxel (21.9%), or a taxane-based combination therapy (12.2%). The most frequent grade ≥3 adverse events previously associated with bevacizumab were hypertension (3.2%), proteinuria (2.9%), and cardiac disorders (0.7%). Median time to progression was 10.9 months. Median overall survival was 29.9 months, and 1-year survival probability was 85%. Objective responses were observed in 62.6% of the patients, and an additional 30% achieved stable disease.

Conclusions.

Results from the study support the safety and efficacy of bevacizumab in combination with chemotherapy for the treatment of locally recurrent/metastatic breast cancer in the context of routine oncology practice in Italy.

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