Department of Surgery, The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA  Department of Pediatrics, The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.
Background:We evaluated bevacizumab with metronomic etoposide among recurrent malignant glioma patients in a phase 2, open-label trial.Methods:A total of59 patients, including 27 with glioblastoma (GBM) and 32 with grade 3 malignant glioma, received 10 mg kg(-1) bevacizumab biweekly and 50 mg m(-2) etoposide daily for 21 consecutive days each month. The primary end point was a 6-month progression-free survival, and secondary end points included safety and overall survival. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), VEGFR-2, carbonic anhydrase 9 (CA9) and hypoxia-inducible factor-2alpha (HIF-2alpha) were assessed semiquantitatively in archival tumours using immunohistochemistry and were correlated with outcome.Results:Among grade 3 and GBM patients, the 6-month progression-free survivals were 40.6% and 44.4%, the radiographic response rates were 22% and 37% and the median survivals were 63.1 and 44.4 weeks, respectively. Hypertension predicted better outcome among both grade 3 and GBM patients, whereas high CA9 and low VEGF were associated with poorer progression-free survival (PFS) among those with GBM. The most common grade >/=3 adverse events included neutropaenia (24%), thrombosis (12%), infection (8%) and hypertension (3%). Two patients had asymptomatic, grade 1 intracranial haemorrhage and one on-study death occurred because of pulmonary embolism.Conclusion:Bevacizumab with metronomic etoposide has increased toxicity compared with previous reports of bevacizumab monotherapy. Its anti-tumour activity is similar to that of bevacizumab monotherapy or bevacizumab plus irinotecan. (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00612430).British Journal of Cancer advance online publication, 17 November 2009; doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6605412 www.bjcancer.com.