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Bevacizumab Active in HIV-Linked Kaposi's Sarcoma

Phase 2 study shows overall response rate of 31 percent in patients with poor-prognosis HIV-KS

MONDAY, March 19 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with HIV-associated Kaposi's sarcoma (HIV-KS), bevacizumab is tolerated and induces a response in some patients, according to a study published online March 19 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Thomas S. Uldrick, M.D., from the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues assessed the tolerability and efficacy of bevacizumab in 17 patients with HIV-KS that progressed or did not regress during highly-active antiretroviral therapy. Bevacizumab was administered intravenously to eligible patients with HIV-KS on days one and eight and every three weeks thereafter.

The researchers note that the median number of bevacizumab cycles was 10, during a median follow-up of 8.3 months. Of the 16 patients eligible for assessment, three had a complete response, two had a partial response, nine had stable disease, and two had disease progression, for an overall response rate (complete and partial response) of 31 percent. Of the five responders, four had received previous chemotherapy for KS. Grade 3 to 4 adverse events at least possibly related to therapy included hypertension in seven patients, neutropenia in five, cellulitis in three, and headache in two.

"Overall, this study suggests that bevacizumab has utility in KS," the authors conclude.

One of the authors disclosed holding patents on certain anti-HIV drugs. Bevacizumab for the study was provided by Genentech.

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