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Salvage therapy of pretreated advanced breast cancer with bevacizumab and paclitaxel every two weeks: a retrospective case review study

Alexandros Ardavanis*, Dimitrios Doufexis, Panteleimon Kountourakis, Savvoula Malliou, Athanasios Karagiannis, Evgenia Kardara, Despina Sykoutri, Margari Charalampia and Gerasimos Rigatos

Author Affiliations

Department of Medical Oncology, St Savas Anticancer hospital, Athens, Greece

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BMC Cancer 2009, 9:338  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-9-338

Published: 23 September 2009



Targeting angiogenesis is nowadays one of the most promising approaches for breast cancer. Bevacizumab (BEV), a VEGF-trap monoclonal antibody, was recently approved in combination with paclitaxel (PAC) for the first line treatment of advanced breast cancer (ABC). The activity of this combination in pretreated patients is not known.


Patients with pretreated ABC and progressive disease received BEV 10 mg/kg with PAC 135 mg/m2 every two weeks for six months and then maintenance with BEV 15 mg/kg every three weeks until progression. This regimen was chosen for better patient convenience, while maintaining the same dose intensity for both drugs.


42 patients were reviewed retrospectively (41 f, 1 m, mean age 57 years). Overall response rate was 35.7%. Stable disease was observed in 45.2% of patients, whereas 14.3% of patients progressed. The median overall survival was greater than 20 months, with a one year rate of 83.4%. The median progression free survival was 12.1 months, with a one year rate of 51.8%. Toxicity was in general acceptable.


This biweekly BEV/PAC combination seems to be active with acceptable toxicity in pretreated ABC with an advantage over the weekly regimen regarding quality of life and preservation of resources.