Safety and efficacy of bevacizumab in combination with first-line chemotherapy in advanced breast cancer: Data from the Italian cohort of the ATHENA trial


Aims and background. The ATHENA international study investigated the safety and efficacy of bevacizumab plus first-line chemotherapy in locally recurrent/metastatic breast cancer in routine oncology practice. The present paper focuses on the outcomes of the Italian cohort of the study.
Methods. A subgroup analysis was carried out to report on the safety (primary endpoint) and efficacy (secondary endpoint) outcomes of patients recruited from Italian Centers.
Results. A total of 278 patients were included. Median age was 57 years (range, 26-85), and ECOG performance status was 0 or 1 in 96% of the patients. Bevacizumab was predominantly combined with a taxane monotherapy: paclitaxel (41.4%), docetaxel (21.9%), or a taxane-based combination therapy (12.2%). The most frequent grade ≥3 adverse events previously associated with bevacizumab were hypertension (3.2%), proteinuria (2.9%), and cardiac disorders (0.7%). Median time to progression was 10.9 months. Median overall survival was 29.9 months, and 1-year survival probability was 85%. Objective responses were observed in 62.6% of the patients, and an additional 30% achieved stable disease.
Conclusions. Results from the study support the safety and efficacy of bevacizumab in combination with chemotherapy for the treatment of locally recurrent/metastatic breast cancer in the context of routine oncology practice in Italy.

Tumori 2014; 100(4): 432 - 438




Giuseppina Sanna, Alessandra Fabi, Diana Crivellari, Silvana Saracchini, Nicola Battelli, Cecilia Nisticò, Alba Maria Capobianco, Germano Zampa, Alberto Bottini, Salvatore Del Prete, Edda Simoncini, Anna Galli, Manuela Matasconi, Eleonora Restuccia, Laura Biganzoli

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