Bevacizumab Combination Therapy: A Review of its Use in Patients with Epithelial Ovarian, Fallopian Tube, or Primary Peritoneal Cancer
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- Dhillon, S. BioDrugs (2013) 27: 375. doi:10.1007/s40259-013-0043-4
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Bevacizumab (Avastin®) is a recombinant, humanized anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) monoclonal antibody that neutralizes the biological activity of VEGF and inhibits tumor angiogenesis. In the EU, in adult patients with epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer, bevacizumab (in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel) is approved for the first-line treatment of advanced disease and (in combination with carboplatin and gemcitabine) is approved for the treatment of patients with first recurrence of platinum-sensitive disease who have not received prior therapy with bevacizumab or other VEGF inhibitors or VEGF receptor-targeted agents. This article summarizes the pharmacology of bevacizumab and reviews the efficacy and tolerability of bevacizumab combination therapy in well-designed clinical studies in these indications. The addition of bevacizumab to first-line carboplatin plus paclitaxel, followed by bevacizumab maintenance therapy significantly prolonged progression-free survival in women with newly-diagnosed advanced disease (GOG-0218 and ICON7 studies). Progression-free survival was also significantly prolonged after second-line treatment with bevacizumab in combination with carboplatin and gemcitabine, followed by maintenance treatment with bevacizumab alone in women with recurrence (≥6 months after front-line platinum-based therapy) of platinum-sensitive disease (OCEANS study). Bevacizumab combination therapy had a generally acceptable tolerability profile in these studies, with the nature of adverse events generally similar to that observed in previous clinical trials in patients with other solid tumors. Although several unanswered questions remain, such as the optimal dosage and duration of treatment, current evidence suggests that bevacizumab combination therapy extends the treatment options available for patients with ovarian cancer.