PURPOSE - Metastatic melanoma, a highly vascularized tumor with strong expression of vascular endothelial growth factor, has an overall poor prognosis. We conducted a placebo-controlled, double-blind phase II study of carboplatin plus paclitaxel with or without bevacizumab in patients with previously untreated metastatic melanoma.
PATIENTS AND METHODS - Patients were randomly assigned in a two-to-one ratio to carboplatin (area under the curve, 5) plus paclitaxel (175 mg/m(2)) and bevacizumab (15 mg/kg; CPB) or placebo (CP) administered intravenously once every 3 weeks. Progression-free survival (PFS) was the primary end point. Secondary end points included overall survival (OS) and safety.
RESULTS - Two hundred fourteen patients (73% with M1c disease) were randomly assigned. With a median follow-up of 13 months, median PFS was 4.2 months for the CP arm (n = 71) and 5.6 months for the CPB arm (n = 143; hazard ratio [HR], 0.78; P = .1414). Overall response rates were 16.4% and 25.5%, respectively (P = .1577). With 13-month follow-up, median OS was 8.6 months in the CP arm versus 12.3 months in the CPB arm (HR, 0.67; P = .0366), whereas in an evaluation 4 months later, it was 9.2 versus 12.3 months, respectively (HR, 0.79; P = .1916). In patients with elevated serum lactate dehydrogenase (n = 84), median PFS and OS were longer in the CPB arm (PFS: 4.4 v 2.7 months; HR, 0.62; OS: 8.5 v 7.5 months; HR, 0.52). No new safety signals were observed.
CONCLUSION - The study did not meet the primary objective of statistically significant improvement in PFS with the addition of bevacizumab to carboplatin plus paclitaxel. A larger phase III study will be necessary to determine whether there is benefit to the addition of bevacizumab to carboplatin plus paclitaxel in this disease setting.