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PURPOSE - To evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of combined treatment with two targeted agents, an antibody against vascular endothelial growth factor (bevacizumab) and an epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor (erlotinib), in the treatment of patients with metastatic clear-cell renal carcinoma.
PATIENTS AND METHODS - Sixty-three patients with metastatic clear-cell renal carcinoma were treated with bevacizumab 10 mg/kg intravenously every 2 weeks and erlotinib 150 mg orally daily. Patients were reevaluated after 8 weeks of treatment; patients who responded continued treatment until they experienced tumor progression.
RESULTS - Fifteen (25%) of 59 assessable patients (95% CI, 16% to 37%) had objective responses to treatment, and an additional 36 patients (61%) had stable disease after 8 weeks of treatment. Only eight patients' (14%) disease had progressed at this time point. The median and 1-year progression-free survivals were 11 months and 43%, respectively. After a median follow-up of 15 months, median survival has not been reached; survival at 18 months was 60%. Treatment was generally well tolerated; only two patients discontinued treatment because of toxicity (skin rash). Grade 1/2 skin rash and diarrhea were the most frequent treatment-related toxicities.
CONCLUSION - The combination of bevacizumab and erlotinib is an effective and well-tolerated treatment for patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma. The efficacy of these two drugs in combination suggests that targeting of separate pathways critical to tumor growth and dissemination may achieve results superior to either drug as a single agent. Additional development of this and other combinations of targeted agents is warranted.