Phase II trial of erlotinib and bevacizumab in patients with advanced upper gastrointestinal cancers.
ABSTRACT Patients with upper gastrointestinal cancers have a poor prognosis and only few treatment options. The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) are valid targets in many solid tumours, and they have synergistic effects in preclinical studies.
In this multi-center phase II trial patients with chemoresistant, metastatic upper gastrointestinal cancer were treated with erlotinib (150 mg daily) and bevacizumab (10 mg/kg every two weeks). Primary endpoint was overall response rate (ORR). Secondary endpoints were progression free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), toxicity and biomarker correlates. Plasma samples were analysed for EGFR and angiogenesis related markers using quantitative immunoassays.
One hundred and two patients were enrolled in the trial between June 2006 and October 2007. The most common toxicities were skin reaction, diarrhoea, and fatigue. ORR was 6%, median PFS was 2.2 months, and OS 4.3 months. Low concentration of urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) domain I was correlated to longer PFS and OS.
The combination of erlotinib and bevacizumab is well tolerated, however, with low clinical activity in patients with chemoresistant UGI cancer. Some patients do benefit from the therapy, and uPAR forms are potential biomarkers in these patients.
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ABSTRACT: To evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of erlotinib plus bevacizumab in patients with metastatic breast cancer (MBC), targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR/HER1) and the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) pathway. Thirty-eight patients with MBC were enrolled and treated at two institutions with erlotinib, a small molecule EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor (150 mg p.o. daily) plus bevacizumab, an anti-VEGF antibody (15 mg/kg i.v. every 3 weeks). Patients had one to two prior chemotherapy regimens for metastatic disease. The primary end point was response rate by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors criteria using a Simon 2-stage design. Secondary end points included toxicity, time to progression, response duration, and stabilization of disease of > or = 26 weeks. Correlative studies were done on tumor tissue, including EGFR expression and mutation analysis. One patient achieved a partial response for 52+ months. Fifteen patients had stable disease at first evaluation at 9 weeks; 4 of these patients had stable disease beyond 26 weeks. Median time to progression was 11 weeks (95% confidence interval, 8-18 weeks). Diarrhea of any grade was observed in 84% of patients (grade 3 in 3%); 76% experienced grade 1 or 2 skin rash, and 18% developed hypertension (grade 3 in 11%). The level of EGFR expression was not predictive of response to therapy. The combination of erlotinib and bevacizumab was well-tolerated but had limited activity in unselected patients with previously treated MBC. Biomarkers are needed to identify those MBC patients likely to respond to anti-EGFR/HER1 plus anti-VEGF therapy.Clinical Cancer Research 01/2009; 14(23):7878-83. · 7.84 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Treatment with gemcitabine provides modest benefits in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer. The addition of erlotinib to gemcitabine shows a small but significant improvement in overall survival (OS) versus gemcitabine alone. Phase II results for bevacizumab plus gemcitabine provided the rationale for a phase III trial of gemcitabine-erlotinib plus bevacizumab or placebo. Patients with metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma were randomly assigned to receive gemcitabine (1,000 mg/m(2)/week), erlotinib (100 mg/day), and bevacizumab (5 mg/kg every 2 weeks) or gemcitabine, erlotinib, and placebo in this double-blind, phase III trial. Primary end point was OS; secondary end points included progression-free survival (PFS), disease control rate, and safety. A total of 301 patients were randomly assigned to the placebo group and 306 to the bevacizumab group. Median OS was 7.1 and 6.0 months in the bevacizumab and placebo arms, respectively (hazard ratio [HR], 0.89; 95% CI, 0.74 to 1.07; P = .2087); this difference was not statistically significant. Adding bevacizumab to gemcitabine-erlotinib significantly improved PFS (HR, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.61 to 0.86; P = .0002). Treatment with bevacizumab plus gemcitabine-erlotinib was well tolerated: safety data did not differ from previously described safety profiles for individual drugs. The primary objective was not met. The addition of bevacizumab to gemcitabine-erlotinib did not lead to a statistically significant improvement in OS in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer. PFS, however, was significantly longer in the bevacizumab group compared with placebo. No unexpected safety events were observed from adding bevacizumab to gemcitabine-erlotinib.Journal of Clinical Oncology 04/2009; 27(13):2231-7. · 18.04 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a potent proangiogenic protein that activates VEGF receptor (VEGFR) tyrosine kinases expressed by vascular endothelial cells. We previously showed that one of these receptors, VEGFR-2, has a truncated soluble form (sVEGFR-2) that can be detected in mouse and human plasma. Because activation of VEGFR-2 plays an important role in tumor angiogenesis, clinical interest in monitoring plasma sVEGFR-2 levels in cancer patients has focused on its potential exploitation as a surrogate biomarker for disease progression as well as assessing efficacy/activity of antiangiogenic drugs, particularly those that target VEGF or VEGFR-2. However, no preclinical studies have been done to study sVEGFR-2 during tumor growth or the mechanisms involved in its modulation. Using spontaneously growing tumors and both localized and metastatic human tumor xenografts, we evaluated the relationship between sVEGFR-2 and tumor burden as well as underlying factors governing protein level modulation in vivo. Our results show an inverse relationship between the levels of sVEGFR-2 and tumor size. Furthermore, using various methods of VEGF overexpression in vivo, including cell transfection and adenoviral delivery, we found plasma sVEGFR-2 decreases to be mediated largely by tumor-derived VEGF. Finally, in vitro studies indicate VEGF-mediated sVEGFR-2 modulation is the result of ligand-induced down-regulation of the VEGFR-2 from the cell surface. Taken together, these findings may be pertinent to further clinical exploitation of plasma sVEGFR-2 levels as a surrogate biomarker of VEGF-dependent tumor growth as well as an activity indicator of antiangiogenic drugs that target the VEGFR system.Cancer Research 02/2008; 68(2):521-9. · 8.65 Impact Factor