Clinical Research Papers:

Early tumour shrinkage as a survival predictor in patients with recurrent glioblastoma treated with bevacizumab in the AVAREG randomized phase II study

Alba A. Brandes _, Gaetano Finocchiaro, Vittorina Zagonel, Michele Reni, Alessandra Fabi, Claudia Caserta, Alicia Tosoni, Marica Eoli, Giuseppe Lombardi, Matteo Clavarezza, Alexandro Paccapelo, Stefania Bartolini, Luigi Cirillo, Raffaele Agati and Enrico Franceschi

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:55575-55581. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.15735

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Alba A. Brandes1, Gaetano Finocchiaro2, Vittorina Zagonel3, Michele Reni4, Alessandra Fabi5, Claudia Caserta6, Alicia Tosoni1, Marica Eoli2, Giuseppe Lombardi3, Matteo Clavarezza7, Alexandro Paccapelo1, Stefania Bartolini1, Luigi Cirillo8, Raffaele Agati8 and Enrico Franceschi1

1 Department of Medical Oncology, Bellaria-Maggiore Hospitals, Azienda USL, IRCCS Institute of Neurological Sciences, Bologna, Italy

2 Molecular Neuro-Oncology Unit, IRCCS Foundation Carlo Besta, Milan, Italy

3 Department of Clinical and Experimental Oncology, Medical Oncology 1, Veneto Institute of Oncology, IRCCS, Padua, Italy

4 Department of Medical Oncology, IRCCS San Raffaele, Milan, Italy

5 Medical Oncology 1, Regina Elena National Cancer Institute, Rome, Italy

6 Oncology Department, Santa Maria Hospital, Terni, Italy

7 Medical Oncology Unit, Ente Ospedaliero Ospedali Galliera, Genova, Italy

8 Department of Neuroradiology, Bellaria Hospital, IRCCS Institute of Neurological Sciences, Bologna, Italy

Correspondence to:

Alba A. Brandes, email:

Keywords: glioblastoma, RANO, bevacizumab, fotemustine, ETS

Received: January 21, 2017 Accepted: February 08, 2017 Published: February 25, 2017


BACKGROUND: Disease assessment for recurrent glioblastoma (GBM) represents a challenge, especially with the use of antiangiogenic agents. Moreover, validated neuroradiological predictors of outcome are lacking. Recently, the concept of early tumor shrinkage (ETS) has been developed to better assess the ability of treatments in determining a rapid and remarkable tumor response.

The aim of the study was to evaluate the role of ETS in predicting survival of GBM patients treated with BEV

METHODS: We examined the radiological data of patients with recurrent GBM treated with bevacizumab (BEV) or fotemustine (FTM) in the randomized phase II AVAREG trial (EudraCT: 2011-001363-46).

Radiologic assessments at first disease assessment (day 46) were used to calculate the relative change in the sum of the products of perpendicular diameters of all measurable lesions determined by either T1 contrast and T2/FLAIR.

RESULTS: In patients treated with BEV, the best ETS cut-off was reduction of 15% with T1 contrast and of 40% with T2/FLAIR. Adopting this cut-off for T1 contrast radiological changes, ETS was a significant predictor of OS for patients treated with BEV (HR = 0.511, 95%CI:0.269-0.971, p = 0.040). The cut-off obtained for T2/FLAIR was not significantly correlated with OS (p = 0.102), but we found a trend for correlation with survival when considering the variable as continuous (p = 0.058).

CONCLUSIONS: ETS evaluating T1 contrast reduction is a helpful predictor of survival in patients with recurrent GBM treated with BEV, and if validated in a larger prospective trial could be a helpful surrogate endpoint.

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