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Bevacizumab safety in patients with central nervous system metastases.

Author(s): Besse B, Lasserre SF, Compton P, Huang J, Augustus S, Rohr UP

Affiliation(s): Institut Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France. benjamin.besse@igr.fr

Publication date & source: 2010-01-01, Clin Cancer Res., 16(1):269-78. Epub 2009 Dec 22.

Publication type: Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

PURPOSE: Patients with central nervous system (CNS) metastases were excluded from bevacizumab trials following a case of fatal cerebral hemorrhage in a patient with hepatocellular carcinoma in 1997. Safety information for bevacizumab-treated patients with CNS metastases was reviewed to determine whether general exclusion of these patients from bevacizumab treatment is still justified. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: A retrospective exploratory analysis was conducted using datasets from 13 randomized controlled phase II/III trials (dataset A), two open-label single-arm safety trials (dataset B), and two prospective studies including patients with treated CNS metastases (dataset C). In datasets A and B, known CNS metastasis was an exclusion criterion; patients with CNS metastasis had unrecognized CNS metastases at study entry or developed them during the trial. All reported cerebral hemorrhage grades in patients with CNS metastases were quantified. RESULTS: In dataset A, occult brain metastases were identified in 187 of 8,443 patients (91 in bevacizumab arms and 96 in non-bevacizumab arms). Three bevacizumab-treated patients (3.3%) developed grade 4 cerebral hemorrhage, whereas one control-arm patient (1.0%) developed grade 5 cerebral hemorrhage. In dataset B, 321 of 4,382 patients had initially occult CNS metastases, in whom two grade 1 and one grade 3 cerebral hemorrhage (0.9%) were reported. In 131 patients with treated CNS metastases in dataset C, one bevacizumab-treated patient (0.8%) developed grade 2 cerebral hemorrhage. CONCLUSIONS: In this selected population, patients with CNS metastases are at similar risk of developing cerebral hemorrhage, independent of bevacizumab therapy. Consequently, such patients with CNS metastases from advanced/metastatic breast cancer, non-small cell lung carcinoma, and renal and colorectal cancer should not be generally excluded from bevacizumab therapy or clinical trials.

Page last updated: 2010-10-05

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