Purpose: Phase III studies of bevacizumab in advanced pancreas cancer (APCA) demonstrated no improvement in outcome. No validated biomarkers for bevacizumab efficacy exist. We evaluated bevacizumab-related hypertension (B-HTN) as a biomarker in APCA patients in a pooled analysis from 4 prospective clinical trials of gemcitabine-based therapy combined with bevacizumab.
Materials and Methods: Data were collected from individual databases from 4 prospective, single-arm phase II trials. Patients were grouped according to B-HTN or no hypertension (HTN), and patients with HTN were further grouped according to highest Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events grade of HTN: grade 1-2 or grade 3-4. Clinical outcomes of overall survival, time to progression, overall response rate (ORR), and disease control rate (ORR+SD>16 wk) were compared.
Results: A total of 163 patients with stage IV APCA and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group 0-1 were included. Median age was 59 years (range, 33 to 85 y). Thirty-four patients had B-HTN, and 129 patients had no HTN. Prognostic factors were balanced between groups. Patients with any grade B-HTN had a significantly improved median overall survival (13.1 vs. 8.1 mo, P=0.0006), median time to tumor progression (7.6 vs. 5.5 mo, P=0.0074), ORR (47% vs. 16%, P=0.0001), and disease control rate (85% vs. 59%, P=0.004). There were no differences in outcomes according to HTN grade (1-2 [N=16] vs. 3-4 [N=18]).
Conclusions: APCA patients who develop any grade of B-HTN appear to derive benefit from bevacizumab. Additional investigation is needed to identify subgroups of patients who develop B-HTN and are more likely to benefit from bevacizumab.
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