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J Thorac Oncol. 2010 Dec;5(12):1970-6. doi: 10.1097/JTO.0b013e3181f49c22.

Efficacy and safety of bevacizumab-based therapy in elderly patients with advanced or recurrent nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer in the phase III BO17704 study (AVAiL).

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Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, Canada.



The placebo-controlled, phase III AVAiL trial evaluated bevacizumab plus cisplatin and gemcitabine as first-line therapy in patients with advanced, nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer. A retrospective subgroup analysis was performed to assess the efficacy and safety of bevacizumab-based therapy in elderly patients aged 65 years or older in AVAiL.


Patients received cisplatin 80 mg/m and gemcitabine 1250 mg/m for up to six cycles plus 7.5 mg/kg bevacizumab, 15 mg/kg bevacizumab, or placebo every 3 weeks until disease progression. The primary end point was progression-free survival. Secondary endpoints included objective response rate, overall survival, and safety.


Data were evaluated for 304 patients aged 65 years or older (median age 68 years). Most of the patients were Caucasian (87%) and the majority had adenocarcinoma (83%). In the combined bevacizumab arms, 143 patients (79%) completed ≥4 cycles of chemotherapy. Patients who received bevacizumab derived an improvement in progression-free survival compared with placebo (7.5 mg/kg bevacizumab: hazard ratio [HR] = 0.71, p = 0.023; 15 mg/kg bevacizumab: HR = 0.84, p = 0.25). Objective response rates were 40, 29, and 30% in the 7.5 mg/kg bevacizumab, 15 mg/kg bevacizumab, and placebo arms, respectively. Overall survival was similar for each bevacizumab arm versus placebo (7.5 mg/kg bevacizumab: HR = 0.84, p = 0.31; 15 mg/kg bevacizumab: HR = 0.88, p = 0.44). There were no particular safety signals of concern in elderly patients.


This analysis of the randomized, phase III AVAiL trial shows that bevacizumab-based therapy improves outcomes for elderly patients with non-small cell lung cancer. Furthermore, bevacizumab-based therapy is well tolerated in elderly patients.


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