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Bevacizumab plus FOLFIRI or FOLFOX in chemotherapy-refractory patients with metastatic colorectal cancer: a retrospective study

Astrid Lièvre12*, Emmanuelle Samalin3, Emmanuel Mitry12, Eric Assenat3, Christine Boyer-Gestin3, Céline Lepère1, Jean-Baptiste Bachet1, Fabienne Portales3, Jean-Nicolas Vaillant1, Marc Ychou3 and Philippe Rougier12

Author Affiliations

1 Gastroenterology and Digestive Oncology Unit, Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris, Hôpital Ambroise Paré, Boulogne Billancourt, France

2 EA4340, Université Versailles Saint-Quentin, UFR de médecine Paris Ile de France Ouest, Saint-Quentin en Yvelines, France

3 Digestive Oncology Unit, Centre Régional de Lutte contre le Cancer Val d'Aurelle - Paul Lamarque, Montpellier, France

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BMC Cancer 2009, 9:347  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-9-347

Published: 28 September 2009



The anti-VEGF antibody bevacizumab associated with an irinotecan or oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy was proved to be superior to the chemotherapy alone in first or second line treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). However, it was reported to have no efficacy in 3rd or later-line, alone or with 5FU. The aim of this study was to evaluate the activity of bevacizumab combined with FOLFIRI or FOLFOX in mCRC who have failed prior chemotherapy with fluoropyrimidine plus irinotecan and/or oxaliplatin.


Thirty one consecutive patients treated between May 2005 and October 2006 were included in this retrospective study. All of them have progressed under a chemotherapy with fluoropyrimidine plus irinotecan and/or oxaliplatin and received bevacizumab (5 mg/kg) in combination with FOLFIRI or simplified FOLFOX4 every 14 days.


Ten patients (32.2%) had an objective response (1 CR, 9 PR) and 12 (38.8%) were stabilized. The response and disease control rates were 45.4% and 100% when bevacizumab was administered in 2nd or 3rd line and 25% and 55% in 4th or later line respectively (p = 0.024 and p = 0.008). Among the patients who had previously received the same chemotherapy than that associated with bevacizumab (n = 28) the overall response rate was 35.7% and 39.3% were stabilized. Median progression free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were of 9.7 and 18.4 months respectively. Except a patient who presented a hypertension associated reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome, tolerance of bevacizumab was acceptable. A rectal bleeding occurred in one patient, an epistaxis in five. Grade 1/2 hypertension occurred in five patients.


This study suggests that bevacizumab combined with FOLFOX or FOLFIRI may have the possibility to be active in chemorefractory and selected mCRC patients who did not receive it previously.