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J Clin Oncol. 2005 Jun 1;23(16):3697-705. Epub 2005 Feb 28.

Addition of bevacizumab to bolus fluorouracil and leucovorin in first-line metastatic colorectal cancer: results of a randomized phase II trial.

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  • 1Division of Hematology/Oncology, UCLA School of Medicine, 10945 LeConte Ave, Suite 2338J, Los Angeles, CA 90095-7187, USA.



Bevacizumab, a monoclonal antibody against vascular endothelial growth factor, increases survival when combined with irinotecan-based chemotherapy in first-line treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC). This randomized, phase II trial compared bevacizumab plus fluorouracil and leucovorin (FU/LV) versus placebo plus FU/LV as first-line therapy in patients considered nonoptimal candidates for first-line irinotecan.


Patients had metastatic CRC and one of the following characteristics: age > or = 65 years, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status 1 or 2, serum albumin < or = 3.5 g/dL, or prior abdominal/pelvic radiotherapy. Patients were randomly assigned to FU/LV/placebo (n = 105) or FU/LV/bevacizumab (n = 104). The primary end point was overall survival. Secondary end points were progression-free survival, response rate, response duration, and quality of life. Safety was also assessed.


Median survival was 16.6 months for the FU/LV/bevacizumab group and 12.9 months for the FU/LV/placebo group (hazard ratio, 0.79; P = .16). Median progression-free survival was 9.2 months (FU/LV/bevacizumab) and 5.5 months (FU/LV/placebo); hazard ratio was 0.50; P = .0002. Response rates were 26.0% (FU/LV/bevacizumab) and 15.2% (FU/LV/placebo) (P = .055); duration of response was 9.2 months (FU/LV/bevacizumab) and 6.8 months (FU/LV/placebo); hazard ratio was 0.42; P = .088. Grade 3 hypertension was more common with bevacizumab treatment (16% v 3%) but was controlled with oral medication and did not cause study drug discontinuation.


Addition of bevacizumab to FU/LV as first-line therapy in CRC patients who were not considered optimal candidates for first-line irinotecan treatment provided clinically significant patient benefit, including statistically significant improvement in progression-free survival.

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