PURPOSE Pemetrexed or bevacizumab is used for maintenance therapy of advanced nonsquamous non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The combination of bevacizumab and pemetrexed has also demonstrated efficacy. We conducted a randomized study to determine the optimal maintenance therapy. PATIENTS AND METHODS Patients with advanced nonsquamous NSCLC and no prior systemic therapy received carboplatin (area under the curve, 6), paclitaxel (200 mg/m2), and bevacizumab (15 mg/kg) for up to four cycles. Patients without progression after four cycles were randomly assigned to maintenance therapy with bevacizumab (15 mg/kg), pemetrexed (500 mg/m2), or a combination of the two agents. The primary end point was overall survival, with bevacizumab serving as the control group. RESULTS Of the 1,516 patients enrolled, 874 (57%) were randomly assigned after induction therapy to one of the three maintenance therapy groups. With a median follow-up of 50.6 months, median survival with pemetrexed was 15.9 months, compared with 14.4 months with bevacizumab (hazard ratio [HR], 0.86; P = .12); median survival with pemetrexed and bevacizumab was 16.4 months (HR, 0.9; P = .28); median progression-free survival was 4.2, 5.1 (HR, 0.85; P = .06), and 7.5 months (HR, 0.67; P, .001) for the three groups, respectively. Incidence of worst grade 3 to 4 toxicity was 29%, 37%, and 51%, respectively, for bevacizumab, pemetrexed, and the combination regimen. CONCLUSION Single-agent bevacizumab or pemetrexed is efficacious as maintenance therapy for advanced nonsquamous NSCLC. Because of a lack of survival benefit and higher toxicity, the combination of bevacizumab and pemetrexed cannot be recommended.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research