Progression-Free but No Overall Survival Benefit for Adult Patients with Bevacizumab Therapy for the Treatment of Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common high-grade primary brain tumor in adults. Standard multi-modality treatment of glioblastoma with surgery, temozolomide chemotherapy, and radiation results in transient tumor control but inevitably gives way to disease progression. The need for additional therapeutic avenues for patients with GBM led to interest in anti-angiogenic therapies, and in particular, bevacizumab. We sought to determine the efficacy of bevacizumab as a treatment for newly diagnosed GBM. We conducted a literature search using the PubMed database and Google Scholar to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) since 2014 investigating the safety and efficacy of bevacizumab in the treatment of adult patients (18 years and older) with newly diagnosed GBM. Only Level Ι data that reported progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were included for analysis. Random effects meta-analyses on studies with newly diagnosed glioblastoma were conducted in R to estimate the pooled hazard ratio (HR) for PFS and OS. Six RCTs met requirements for meta-analysis, revealing a pooled estimate of PFS HR suggesting a 33% decreased risk of disease progression (HR 0.67, 95% CI, 0.58–0.78; p < 0.001) with bevacizumab therapy, but no effect on OS (HR = 1, 95% CI, 0.85–1.18; p = 0.97). A pooled estimate of the mean difference in OS months of −0.13 predicts little difference in time of survival between treatment groups (95% CI, −1.87–1.61). The pooled estimate for the mean difference in PFS months was 2.70 (95% CI, 1.89–3.50; p < 0.001). Meta-analysis shows that bevacizumab therapy is associated with a longer PFS in adult patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma, but had an inconsistent effect on OS in this patient population.


  • Kaka, Nagham
  • Hafazalla, Karim
  • Samawi, Haider
  • Simpkin, Andrew
  • Perry, James
  • Sahgal, Arjun
  • Das, Sunit

publication date

  • November 4, 2019