Purpose: To assess the clinical and biological activity of the association of bevacizumab and fotemustine as first-line treatment in advanced melanoma patients. Experimental Design: Previously untreated, metastatic melanoma patients (n = 20) received bevacizumab (at 15 mg/kg every 3 weeks) and fotemustine (100 mg/m2 by intravenous administration on days 1, 8, and 15, repeated after 4 weeks) in a multicenter, single-arm, open-label, phase II study. Primary endpoint was the best overall response rate; other endpoints were toxicity, time to progression (TTP), and overall survival (OS). Serum cytokines, angiogenesis, and lymphangiogenesis factors were monitored by multiplex arrays and by in vitro angiogenesis assays. Effects of fotemustine on melanoma cells, in vitro, on vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-C release and apoptosis were assessed by ELISA and flow cytometry, respectively. Results: One complete response, 2 partial responses (PR), and 10 patients with stable disease were observed. TTP and OS were 8.3 and 20.5 months, respectively. Fourteen patients experienced adverse events of toxicity grade 3-4. Serum VEGF-A levels in evaluated patients (n = 15) and overall serum proangiogenic activity were significantly inhibited. A significant reduction in VEGF-C levels was found in several post-versus pretherapy serum samples. In vitro, fotemustine inhibited VEGF-C release by melanoma cells without inducing significant cell death. Serum levels of interleukin (IL)-10 and IL-12p70 showed the highest levels in sera of PR patients, compared with patients with stable or progressive disease whereas IL-23 showed the opposite pattern. Conclusions: The combination of bevacizumab plus fotemustine has clinical activity in advanced melanoma and promotes systemic modulation of angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis factors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research