Results from early phase trials investigating different therapeutic agents in lung cancer patients were presented during the third Presidential Session at the European Cancer Congress in Vienna, Austria. Here we summarise two studies reported at the session.
Erlotinib (structure) plus bevacizumab promising in EGFR T790M-positive advanced NSCLC patients.
Rolf Stahel, from University Hospital Zurich in Switzerland, presented the findings of the BELIEF trial  on behalf of his fellow investigators from the Spanish Lung Cancer Group and the European Thoracic Oncology Platform. The phase II trial enrolled 109 patients with metastatic or locally advanced non-squamous non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) harbouring activating epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations (either the exon 19 deletion or the exon 21 L858R point mutation).
Of these, 37 (33.9%) patients also carried the EGFR T790M mutation at baseline, while the remaining 72 participants were negative for T790M.
Patients were treated with a combination of everolimus and bevacizumab on the basis of previous preclinical results suggesting that inhibiting both the EGFR and vascular EGFR pathways could be beneficial in the presence of the T790M mutation, explained Stahel.
After a median follow-up of 17.5 months, progression-free survival (PFS) was a median of 13.8 months in the overall cohort, with times of 16.0 and 10.5 months for the T790M-positive and -negative groups, respectively. The corresponding 1-year PFS rates were 56.7%, 72.4% and 49.4%.
Complete responses were achieved by 6.4% of all study participants, 8.1% of those positive for T790M and 5.6% of T790M-negative patients, while partial responses were achieved by 69.7%, 62.2% and 73.6% of patients, respectively.