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Lung Cancer. 2014 Dec;86(3):350-7. doi: 10.1016/j.lungcan.2014.09.017. Epub 2014 Sep 30.

Comparison of survival and hospitalization rates between Medicare patients with advanced NSCLC treated with bevacizumab-carboplatin-paclitaxel and carboplatin-paclitaxel: a retrospective cohort study.

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Abramson Cancer Center and University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, USA. Electronic address:
Genentech, Inc., South San Francisco, CA, USA.
Analysis Group, Inc., Montreal, QC, Canada.
Analysis Group, Inc., Boston, MA, USA.
Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA.



The use of bevacizumab in advanced non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is controversial among elderly patients. This study aimed to compare overall survival for Medicare patients diagnosed with NSCLC and treated with either first-line bevacizumab-carboplatin-paclitaxel (BCP) or carboplatin-paclitaxel (CP).


Patients ≥ 65 years old, first diagnosed with non-squamous NSCLC stage IIIB/IV between 2006 and 2009, and treated with either first-line BCP or CP, were selected from the SEER-Medicare database that links cancer registry and US Medicare claims data. Kaplan-Meier estimates were used to evaluate survival. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards models were used to compare the effect of BCP versus CP on the hazard of death. Age-stratified analyses were conducted for patients aged 65-74 and ≥ 75 years.


Of 1706 patients in the study sample, 592 (34.7%) received BCP and 1114 (65.3%) received CP; 692 (40.6%) were ≥ 75 years. Adjusted median survival time in the BCP versus CP cohorts was 10.5 versus 8.5 months (p = 0.008). The difference in median survival favoring the BCP cohort was statistically significant for both patients aged ≥ 75 years (2.8 months, p = 0.019), and patients aged 65-74 years (1.5 months, p = 0.018). The adjusted hazard of death did not differ between the cohorts (HR: 0.96, 95% CI: 0.86-1.06); however, during the first year of follow-up, when most deaths (>60%) occurred, the hazard of death was 18% lower for the BCP cohort (HR: 0.82, 95% CI: 0.71-0.94). BCP patients also had 18% fewer hospital admissions than CP patients (adjusted incidence rate ratio (IRR): 0.82, 95% CI: 0.72-0.94) and 23% fewer inpatient days (IRR: 0.77, 95% CI: 0.65-0.91).


In this retrospective analysis of Medicare patients in the SEER database, first-line therapy with BCP was associated with longer survival and fewer hospitalizations than CP.


Advanced NSCLC; Bevacizumab; First-line chemotherapy; Hospitalizations; Medicare; Survival

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