CHICAGO -- African Americans with metastatic colorectal cancer do not fare as well as Caucasians when bevacizumab (Avastin) is added to the FOLFOX regimen, investigators reported here.
CHICAGO, June 7 -- African Americans with metastatic colorectal cancer do not fare as well as Caucasians when bevacizumab (Avastin) is added to the FOLFOX regimen, investigators reported here.
So found an analysis of data from the trial that established the efficacy of adding bevacizumab to the FOLFOX regimen, said biostatistician Paul Catalano, D.Sc., of the Harvard School of Public Health and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.
"These results suggest differences in outcomes on the basis of race in the treatment of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer," he said at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting.
Yet Dr. Catalano, who analyzed results of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group's E3200 trial, said that he and his colleagues were baffled by poorer outcomes among African Americans. "Additional studies are required to elucidate the cause for the observed variation," Dr. Catalano commented.
In analyzing the data accumulated in the trial that included 713 Caucasians and 66 African Americans, Dr. Catalano and colleagues determined:
He said the results stand out because at the start of the trial there were no differences between Caucasians and African Americans "with regard to disease extent, performance status, gender, prior therapy and age distribution."
The average age of the participants was 60 for African Americans and 61 for Caucasians. Half the African American patients were men, and about 60% of the Caucasian participants were men.
In the E3200 study, the combination of FOLFOX plus bevacizumab significantly outperformed FOLFOX alone -- with patients not receiving the targeted vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitor being at a 26% greater risk of death and a 35% greater risk of disease progression.
FOLFOX, however, was superior to bevacizumab monotherapy.