Bevacizumab and gefitinib enhanced whole-brain radiation therapy for brain metastases due to non-small-cell lung cancer

<div><p>Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients who experience brain metastases are usually associated with poor prognostic outcomes. This retrospective study proposed to assess whether bevacizumab or gefitinib can be used to improve the effectiveness of whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) in managing patients with brain metastases. A total of 218 NSCLC patients with multiple brain metastases were retrospectively included in this study and were randomly allocated to bevacizumab-gefitinib-WBRT group (n=76), gefitinib-WBRT group (n=77) and WBRT group (n=75). Then, tumor responses were evaluated every 2 months based on Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors version 1.0. Karnofsky performance status and neurologic examination were documented every 6 months after the treatment. Compared to the standard WBRT, bevacizumab and gefitinib could significantly enhance response rate (RR) and disease control rate (DCR) of WBRT (P<0.001). At the same time, RR and DCR of patients who received bevacizumab-gefitinib-WBRT were higher than those who received gefitinib-WBRT. The overall survival (OS) rates and progression-free survival (PFS) rates also differed significantly among the bevacizumab-gefitinib-WBRT (48.6 and 29.8%), gefitinib-WBRT (36.7 and 29.6%) and WBRT (9.8 and 14.6%) groups (P<0.05). Although bevacizumab-gefitinib-WBRT was slightly more toxic than gefitinib-WBRT, the toxicity was tolerable. As suggested by prolonged PFS and OS status, bevacizumab substantially improved the overall efficacy of WBRT in the management of patients with NSCLC.</p></div>