Arthralgia in patients with ovarian cancer treated with bevacizumab and chemotherapy

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Chemotherapy with carboplatin, paclitaxel, and bevacizumab is the standard therapy for patients with advanced stage ovarian cancer wild-type BRCA after primary surgery. The most frequent side effects of bevacizumab in this setting are hypertension, thrombosis, hemorrhage, and proteinuria, while arthralgia has been poorly described.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the incidence, duration, and reversibility of arthralgia.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: A retrospective analysis was performed to describe the occurrence and outcome of arthralgia in 114 patients with advanced ovarian cancer, given first-line treatment with a combination of carboplatin, paclitaxel, and bevacizumab. Statistical analysis was performed to investigate a possible prognostic role of arthralgia, with progression-free survival as endpoint.

RESULTS: 47 of 114 patients (41%) developed arthralgia during therapy. All patients had grade 1 or grade 2 arthralgia. Toxicity persisted after the end of bevacizumab in 17/47 patients (36%). Median progression-free survival for patients without arthralgia was 18 months (95% CI 14 to 24) compared with 29 months (95% CI 21 to not reached) for patients experiencing arthralgia (p=0.03). In order to avoid possible biases related to treatment duration, a multivariable Cox proportional hazards model including toxicity as a time dependent variable and age, stage, and residual disease after primary surgery was performed. In this model no variable showed a statistically significant association with progression-free survival.

CONCLUSION: A high incidence of arthralgia (41%) was found and although rogression-free survival was worse for those patients who developed arthralgia, this was not maintained on multivariate analysis. Guidelines for treatment of this adverse event are needed.

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