Importance: Although bevacizumab is a standard of care in combination treatments for metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC), its clinical benefit has been limited. Objective: To determine whether sequential scheduling of bevacizumab administration in combination with chemotherapy improves treatment efficacy in patients with mCRC, in keeping with the tumor vascular normalization hypothesis. Design, Setting, and Participants: This open-label, randomized clinical phase 3 trial was conducted from May 8, 2012, to December 9, 2015, at 3 Italian centers. Patients aged 18 to 75 years with unresectable, previously untreated, or single line-treated mCRC were recruited. Follow-up was completed December 31, 2019, and data were analyzed from February 26 to July 24, 2020. Interventions: Patients received 12 biweekly cycles of standard oxaliplatin-based regimens (modified FOLFOX-6 [levo-folinic acid, fluorouracil, and oxaliplatin]/modified CAPOX [capecitabine and oxaliplatin]) plus bevacizumab administered either on the same day as chemotherapy (standard arm) or 4 days before chemotherapy (experimental arm). Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary end point was the objective response rate (ORR) measured with Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors, version 1.1. Secondary end points included progression-free survival, overall survival, safety, and quality of life (QOL). Results: Overall, 230 patients (136 men [59.1%]; median age, 62.3 [interquartile range, 53.3-67.6] years) were randomly assigned to the standard arm (n = 115) or the experimental arm (n = 115). The median duration of follow-up was 68.3 (95% CI, 61.0-70.0) months. No difference in ORR (57.4% [95% CI, 47.8%-66.6%] in the standard arm and 56.5% [95% CI, 47.0-65.7] in the experimental arm; P =.89) or progression-free survival (10.5 [95% CI, 9.1-12.3] months in the standard arm and 11.7 [95% CI, 9.9-12.9] months in the experimental arm; P =.15) was observed. However, the median overall survival was 29.8 (95% CI, 22.5-41.1) months in the experimental arm compared with 24.1 (95% CI, 18.6-29.8) months in the standard arm (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.54-0.99; P =.04). Moreover, the experimental arm was associated with a significant reduction in the rate of severe diarrhea (6 [5.3%] vs 19 [16.5%]; P =.006) and nausea (2 [1.8%] vs 8 [7.0%]; P =.05) and improved physical functioning (mean [SD] change from baseline, 0.65 [1.96] vs -7.41 [2.95] at 24 weeks; P =.02), and constipation scores (mean [SD] change from baseline, -17.2 [3.73] vs -0.62 [4.44]; P =.003). Conclusions and Relevance: In this randomized clinical trial, sequential administration of bevacizumab plus chemotherapy did not improve ORR, the primary end point. However, the overall survival advantage, fewer adverse effects, and better health-related QOL associated with sequential bevacizumab administration might provide the basis for exploring antiangiogenic combination treatments with innovative perspectives. Trial Registration: EudraCT Identifier: 2011-004997-27; ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01718873.
|Journal||JAMA network open|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 2021|
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