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Reuters Health Information (2009-02-04): Bevacizumab plus erlotinib promising in liver cancer


Bevacizumab plus erlotinib promising in liver cancer

Last Updated: 2009-02-04 17:09:04 -0400 (Reuters Health)

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Bevacizumab along with erlotinib shows considerable anti-tumor activity in patients who have advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), researchers report in the January 12th issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

"I think the results of this trial are very encouraging," lead investigator Dr. Melanie B. Thomas told Reuters Health, "and suggest the combination is quite active in hepatocellular cancer. Most chemotherapy and biologic agents have shown none or minimal tumor responses in HCC."

Dr. Thomas of the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, and colleagues studied 40 patients with advanced HCC. All had received no more than one prior systemic treatment and none had disease that was amenable to surgical or regional therapy.

They were given bevacizumab 10 mg/kg every 14 days and erlotinib 150 mg per day orally, continuously over 28-day cycles.

Some 60% achieved 16-week progression-free survival. Median progression-free survival was 9.0 months and median overall survival was 15.7 months.

"Bevacizumab plus erlotinib showed a 25% response rate in this study," continued Dr. Thomas. "Overall survival is substantially longer than that published for sorafenib (10.7 months) but the only valid comparison is in a randomized trial. We are about to open a randomized phase II trial comparing bevacizumab plus erlotinib to sorafenib."

J Clin Oncol 2009;27.

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