David Muñoz Carmona
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Apr 20 - The antiangiogenic agent bevacizumab (Avastin) appears to slow the progression of recurrent alkylator-refractory 1p19q codeleted anaplastic oligodendroglioma, according to a retrospective study published in the April 15 issue of Cancer.There is no standard therapy for this brain tumor, note authors Dr. Marc C. Chamberlain and Dr. Sandra Johnston at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, Seattle.Their study involved 22 patients ages 24 to 60 years, for whom primary therapy included surgery, radiotherapy and adjuvant chemotherapy, followed by one salvage therapy.Upon second recurrence of the tumor, patients were treated with an intravenous infusion of bevacizumab 10 mg/kg administered every 14 days, with dexamethasone permitted for symptomatic control. Patients underwent a median of 14.5 cycles (range, 2-39).One patient demonstrated stable disease, 15 demonstrated a partial radiographic response, and 6 demonstrated progressive disease after 2 cycles.Median time to tumor progression was 6.75 months (range 1-18 months), and median overall survival was 8.5 months (range 3-19 months). Six- and 12-month progression-free survival rates were 68% and 23%, respectively.Toxicity was "modest," the authors note, with nine grade 3 adverse events during 391 treatment cycles, and no grade 4 or 5 adverse events.Drs. Chamberlain and Johnston comment that, "regarding the primary endpoint of 6-month progression-free survival, the results exceed the 20% threshold for success.... More problematic, however, is the lack of overall survival benefit with bevacizumab."In a prepared statement, Dr. Chamberlain notes that, "of all of the targeted therapies for gliomas, this has been the most promising. And this is practice changing."