Oncology News International readers expressed doubts about the future role of bevacizumab (Avastin) in the treatment of patients with early-stage colorectal cancer. Last month, it was announced that bevacizumab
fell short of expectations when trial results revealed that the drug did not meet its primary endpoint of lowering the recurrence risk in patients with early-stage disease.
Of those who responded to the www.cancernetwork.com question, “Given the extraordinary cost of bevacizumab and its failure in the NSABP C-08 study, do you believe it still has a role in the adjuvant setting?” 46% said no while 15% said yes. Thirty-eight percent stated that more research was needed.
The late-stage NSABP C-08 study enrolled patients with resected stage II or III adenocarcinoma of the colon. They received treatment with adjuvant bevacizumab (5 mg/kg intravenous every two weeks for six months) in combination with mFOLFOX6 (5-fluorouracil, leucovorin, and oxaliplatin) chemotherapy, followed by bevacizumab alone every two weeks for an additional six months, or chemotherapy alone for six months.
“While we are disappointed...our initial review of the data leads us to continue to believe Avastin may be active in patients with early-stage colon cancer,” said Hal Barron, MD, senior vice president, development and chief medical officer at Genentech.
Results are expected in 2010 from the phase III AVANT trial assessing bevacizumab in combination with chemotherapy for early-stage colon cancer.