In a nutshell
This study investigated the effectiveness of bevacizumab (Avastin) in combination with platinum-based chemotherapy in Hungarian patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
They found that this treatment combination was associated with improved patient survival.
The most common type of lung cancer is non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Standard chemotherapy works by killing both cancer and healthy cells. In advanced disease, chemotherapy alone may not be effective. Combining chemotherapy with new drugs could improve survival.
One tumor target is vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). VEGF is an important growth factor for blood vessels. As a tumor grows VEGF facilitates the growth of a blood supply for it. This allows the tumor to grow even more. Bevacizumab (BEV) is a monoclonal antibody. It binds to VEGF and stops it from working. This can reduce tumor growth. The effectiveness of BEV in combination with platinum-based chemotherapy to treat advanced NSCLC in a real-world setting remains under investigation.
Methods & findings
This study included 284 patients with NSCLC. All patients were assigned to BEV treatment and platinum-based chemotherapy. Some patients then received BEV once every 3 weeks as maintenance therapy (treatment meant to keep cancer from coming back).
Survival without cancer getting worse was on average 7.16 months for all patients. It was significantly higher in patients receiving BEV maintenance (9.16 months vs 5.81 months). Disease control was achieved in 86.5% of patients.
Overall survival was on average 15.2 months for all patients. It was significantly improved in patients on BEV maintenance (26.2 months) compared to those not receiving BEV maintenance (10.1 months).
157 side effects were reported. 14 were serious. They included anemia and pulmonary embolism (clot in the lungs). 40.1% of side effects were resolved without remaining problems.
The bottom line
The authors concluded that BEV treatment added to platinum-based chemotherapy was associated with improved survival in NSCLC.
The fine print
Some data was missing in the analysis. This study was based in Hungary. However, the benefit of BEV is well documented in other populations.
Published By :
Feb 01, 2019