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      A Randomized Trial of Bevacizumab for Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma

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          Abstract

          Concurrent treatment with temozolomide and radiotherapy followed by maintenance temozolomide is the standard of care for patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma. Bevacizumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody against vascular endothelial growth factor A, is currently approved for recurrent glioblastoma. Whether the addition of bevacizumab would improve survival among patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma is not known. In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, we treated adults who had centrally confirmed glioblastoma with radiotherapy (60 Gy) and daily temozolomide. Treatment with bevacizumab or placebo began during week 4 of radiotherapy and was continued for up to 12 cycles of maintenance chemotherapy. At disease progression, the assigned treatment was revealed, and bevacizumab therapy could be initiated or continued. The trial was designed to detect a 25% reduction in the risk of death and a 30% reduction in the risk of progression or death, the two coprimary end points, with the addition of bevacizumab. A total of 978 patients were registered, and 637 underwent randomization. There was no significant difference in the duration of overall survival between the bevacizumab group and the placebo group (median, 15.7 and 16.1 months, respectively; hazard ratio for death in the bevacizumab group, 1.13). Progression-free survival was longer in the bevacizumab group (10.7 months vs. 7.3 months; hazard ratio for progression or death, 0.79). There were modest increases in rates of hypertension, thromboembolic events, intestinal perforation, and neutropenia in the bevacizumab group. Over time, an increased symptom burden, a worse quality of life, and a decline in neurocognitive function were more frequent in the bevacizumab group. First-line use of bevacizumab did not improve overall survival in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma. Progression-free survival was prolonged but did not reach the prespecified improvement target. (Funded by the National Cancer Institute; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00884741.).

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          Most cited references 28

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          Radiotherapy plus concomitant and adjuvant temozolomide for glioblastoma.

          Glioblastoma, the most common primary brain tumor in adults, is usually rapidly fatal. The current standard of care for newly diagnosed glioblastoma is surgical resection to the extent feasible, followed by adjuvant radiotherapy. In this trial we compared radiotherapy alone with radiotherapy plus temozolomide, given concomitantly with and after radiotherapy, in terms of efficacy and safety. Patients with newly diagnosed, histologically confirmed glioblastoma were randomly assigned to receive radiotherapy alone (fractionated focal irradiation in daily fractions of 2 Gy given 5 days per week for 6 weeks, for a total of 60 Gy) or radiotherapy plus continuous daily temozolomide (75 mg per square meter of body-surface area per day, 7 days per week from the first to the last day of radiotherapy), followed by six cycles of adjuvant temozolomide (150 to 200 mg per square meter for 5 days during each 28-day cycle). The primary end point was overall survival. A total of 573 patients from 85 centers underwent randomization. The median age was 56 years, and 84 percent of patients had undergone debulking surgery. At a median follow-up of 28 months, the median survival was 14.6 months with radiotherapy plus temozolomide and 12.1 months with radiotherapy alone. The unadjusted hazard ratio for death in the radiotherapy-plus-temozolomide group was 0.63 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.52 to 0.75; P<0.001 by the log-rank test). The two-year survival rate was 26.5 percent with radiotherapy plus temozolomide and 10.4 percent with radiotherapy alone. Concomitant treatment with radiotherapy plus temozolomide resulted in grade 3 or 4 hematologic toxic effects in 7 percent of patients. The addition of temozolomide to radiotherapy for newly diagnosed glioblastoma resulted in a clinically meaningful and statistically significant survival benefit with minimal additional toxicity. Copyright 2005 Massachusetts Medical Society.
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            Effects of radiotherapy with concomitant and adjuvant temozolomide versus radiotherapy alone on survival in glioblastoma in a randomised phase III study: 5-year analysis of the EORTC-NCIC trial.

            In 2004, a randomised phase III trial by the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) and National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group (NCIC) reported improved median and 2-year survival for patients with glioblastoma treated with concomitant and adjuvant temozolomide and radiotherapy. We report the final results with a median follow-up of more than 5 years. Adult patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma were randomly assigned to receive either standard radiotherapy or identical radiotherapy with concomitant temozolomide followed by up to six cycles of adjuvant temozolomide. The methylation status of the methyl-guanine methyl transferase gene, MGMT, was determined retrospectively from the tumour tissue of 206 patients. The primary endpoint was overall survival. Analyses were by intention to treat. This trial is registered with Clinicaltrials.gov, number NCT00006353. Between Aug 17, 2000, and March 22, 2002, 573 patients were assigned to treatment. 278 (97%) of 286 patients in the radiotherapy alone group and 254 (89%) of 287 in the combined-treatment group died during 5 years of follow-up. Overall survival was 27.2% (95% CI 22.2-32.5) at 2 years, 16.0% (12.0-20.6) at 3 years, 12.1% (8.5-16.4) at 4 years, and 9.8% (6.4-14.0) at 5 years with temozolomide, versus 10.9% (7.6-14.8), 4.4% (2.4-7.2), 3.0% (1.4-5.7), and 1.9% (0.6-4.4) with radiotherapy alone (hazard ratio 0.6, 95% CI 0.5-0.7; p<0.0001). A benefit of combined therapy was recorded in all clinical prognostic subgroups, including patients aged 60-70 years. Methylation of the MGMT promoter was the strongest predictor for outcome and benefit from temozolomide chemotherapy. Benefits of adjuvant temozolomide with radiotherapy lasted throughout 5 years of follow-up. A few patients in favourable prognostic categories survive longer than 5 years. MGMT methylation status identifies patients most likely to benefit from the addition of temozolomide. EORTC, NCIC, Nélia and Amadeo Barletta Foundation, Schering-Plough.
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              Normalization of tumor vasculature: an emerging concept in antiangiogenic therapy.

               R Jain (2005)
              Solid tumors require blood vessels for growth, and many new cancer therapies are directed against the tumor vasculature. The widely held view is that these antiangiogenic therapies should destroy the tumor vasculature, thereby depriving the tumor of oxygen and nutrients. Here, I review emerging evidence supporting an alternative hypothesis-that certain antiangiogenic agents can also transiently "normalize" the abnormal structure and function of tumor vasculature to make it more efficient for oxygen and drug delivery. Drugs that induce vascular normalization can alleviate hypoxia and increase the efficacy of conventional therapies if both are carefully scheduled. A better understanding of the molecular and cellular underpinnings of vascular normalization may ultimately lead to more effective therapies not only for cancer but also for diseases with abnormal vasculature, as well as regenerative medicine, in which the goal is to create and maintain a functionally normal vasculature.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                New England Journal of Medicine
                N Engl J Med
                Massachusetts Medical Society
                0028-4793
                1533-4406
                February 20 2014
                February 20 2014
                : 370
                : 8
                : 699-708
                10.1056/NEJMoa1308573
                4201043
                24552317
                © 2014
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