BACKGROUND: The randomized, phase III AVAPERL trial evaluated the safety and efficacy of bevacizumab maintenance with or without pemetrexed in nonsquamous nonsmall-cell lung cancer (nsNSCLC). Progression-free survival (PFS) was significantly prolonged with bevacizumab-pemetrexed, but overall survival (OS) data were immature. In this article, we report an independent, updated analysis of survival outcomes in AVAPERL.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with advanced nsNSCLC received first-line bevacizumab (7.5 mg/kg), cisplatin (75 mg/m(2)), and pemetrexed (500 mg/m(2)) every 3 weeks (q3w) for four cycles. Nonprogressing patients were randomized to maintenance bevacizumab (7.5 mg/kg) or bevacizumab-pemetrexed (500 mg/m(2)) q3w until progression or consent withdrawal. The primary end point of the trial was PFS; in this independent OS analysis, participating study centers were contacted to collect survival data on patients still alive at the time of the first analysis.
RESULTS: A total of 376 patients received induction treatment. Disease control was confirmed in 71.9% of patients; 253 patients were randomized to maintenance treatment with bevacizumab (n = 125) or bevacizumab-pemetrexed (n = 128). At a median follow-up of 14.8 months, patients allocated to bevacizumab-pemetrexed had significantly improved PFS versus those on bevacizumab when measured from randomization [7.4 versus 3.7 months, hazard ratio (HR), 0.57, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.44-0.75); P < 0.0001]. OS events occurred in 58% of all patients. OS was numerically longer with bevacizumab-pemetrexed versus bevacizumab when measured from randomization [17.1 versus 13.2 months, HR 0.87 (0.63-1.21); P = 0.29]. Second-line therapy was administered in 77% and 70% of patients in the bevacizumab and bevacizumab-pemetrexed arms, respectively. No new adverse events were reported during this updated analysis.
CONCLUSION: In an unselected population of nsNSCLC patients achieving disease control on platinum-based induction therapy, maintenance with bevacizumab-pemetrexed was associated with a nonsignificant increase in OS over bevacizumab alone.