What it’s about
This paper compared survival women with recurrent ovarian, peritoneal or fallopian tube cancer who were randomised to receive either chemotherapy (gemcitabine and carboplatin) with bevacizumab* or chemotherapy and placebo. All women included in the trial had experienced disease recurrence more than six months outside of their initial treatment (platinum-sensitive disease).
*Bevacizumab is a drug that targets a protein found in cancer cells called vascular VEGF. VEGF helps cancer cells develop and maintain their own blood supply.
This study was a randomised control trial of 484 women with platinum-sensitive disease who were randomised to receive either chemotherapy (gemcitabine and carboplatin) and bevacizumab until disease progression or chemotherapy and placebo. Progression free survival (survival without the progression of disease) was compared between groups.
Women in the chemotherapy and bevacizumab group experienced an increase in progression free survival compared to those who received placebo and chemotherapy (8.4 months compared to 12.4 months). There was a higher risk of high blood pressure and bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract in the bevacizumab group.
Bevacizumab with chemotherapy followed by bevacizumab until disease progression resulted in a significant improvement in progression free survival compared with chemotherapy and placebo in platinum-sensitive recurrent ovarian cancer. A follow-up paper from the same study showed that the addition of bevacizumab did not improve overall survival.