The GLARIUS trial which investigated the efficacy of bevacizumab (BEV)/irinotecan (IRI) as compared to standard temozolomide (TMZ) in the first-line therapy of MGMT promoter methylation glioblastoma showed that progression free survival was significantly prolonged by BEV/IRI while overall survival was similar in both arms 1).
Patients (n=170) received standard radiotherapy and were randomized (2:1) for BEV/IRI or standard TMZ. At least every three months KPS was determined and QoL was measured using the EORTC QLQ-C30 and EORTC QLQ-BN20 questionnaires. A generalized estimating equation model (GEE) evaluated differences in the course of QoL and KPS over time. Also, the time to first deterioration and the time to postprogression deterioration was analyzed separately.
In all dimensions of QoL and KPS, GEE analyses and time to first deterioration analyses did not detect significant differences between the treatment arms. At progression, 82% of patients receiving second-line therapy in the standard arm received BEV second-line therapy. For the dimensions motor dysfunction and headaches, time to postprogression deterioration was prolonged in the standard arm receiving crossover second-line BEV in the vast majority of patients at the time of evaluation.
GLARIUS did not find indications for a BEV-induced detrimental effect on QoL in first-line therapy of MGMT-nonmethylated GBM patients. Moreover, GLARIUS provided some indirect corroborative data supporting the notion that BEV may have beneficial effects upon QoL in relapsed GBM 2).