Vascular endothelial growth factor promotes angiogenesis, an important mediator of growth and metastasis in human breast cancer. Bevacizumab, a monoclonal antibody to vascular endothelial growth factor, is under investigation as an anti-angiogenic agent. This phase I/II trial evaluated the safety and efficacy of bevacizumab in patients with previously treated metastatic breast cancer. Seventy-five patients were treated with escalating doses of bevacizumab ranging from 3 mg/kg to 20 mg/kg administered intravenously every other week. Tumor response was assessed before the sixth (70 days) and 12th (154 days) doses. Safety was evaluated during every cycle. Eighteen patients were treated at 3 mg/kg, 41 at 10 mg/kg, and 16 at 20 mg/kg. Four patients discontinued study treatment because of an adverse event. Hypertension was reported as an adverse event in 17 patients (22%). The overall response rate was 9.3% (confirmed response rate, 6.7%). The median duration of confirmed response was 5.5 months (range, 2.3 to 13.7 months). At the final tumor assessment on day 154, 12 of 75 patients (16%) had stable disease or an ongoing response. The optimal dose of bevacizumab in this trial was 10 mg/kg every other week and toxicity was acceptable. These data support the initiation of trials in metastatic breast cancer combining bevacizumab with chemotherapy.
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