Bevacizumab for the treatment of high-grade glioma: an update after phase III trials.
INTRODUCTION: Gliomas are highly vascular and rich in VEGF, which promotes angiogenesis. Bevacizumab is a monoclonal antibody against VEGF, inhibiting angiogenesis by preventing receptor activation. Early Phase II clinical trials using bevacizumab in both newly diagnosed and recurrent high-grade gliomas (HGG) showed promising results, but these have not been confirmed in recent Phase III trials. This review is an update including recently reported Phase II and III study results. AREAS COVERED: This is a review of clinical trials investigating bevacizumab in newly diagnosed and recurrent HGG with a focus on outcome results. A future perspective about the expected future role of bevacizumab is given. Bevacizumab efficacy, safety and tolerability, the combination of radiation and bevacizumab, as well as the use of bevacizumab to treat pseudoprogression are discussed. Further criteria of response evaluation needed to be adjusted in the age of antiangiogenic therapy are also discussed. EXPERT OPINION: Bevacizumab has been shown to be safe and tolerable in HGG. In the recurrent disease setting, bevacizumab might offer clinical benefits and is currently approved as a single agent for this indication. Although clinical trials demonstrate a prolonged progression-free survival (PFS) in bevacizumab-treated HGG, a benefit on overall survival has not been demonstrated. Research so far shows that bevacizumab appears to prolong PFS in newly diagnosed glioblastoma. Available data do not demonstrate a survival benefit in newly diagnosed patients. In the recurrent setting, there is no adequately powered randomized clinical trial to address whether there is a PFS or survival benefit with bevacizumab. Bevacizumab has also been introduced into other settings in neuro-oncology, including concurrent administration with re-irradiation for recurrent HGG.
Khasraw, M; Ameratunga, M; Grommes, C
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