A randomized, controlled, double-blind phase III study (AVOREN) of bevacizumab/interferon-a2a vs. placebo/interferon-a2a as first-line therapy in metastatic renal cell carcinoma
This was a phase III, randomized study for patients with metastatic renal cell cancer. Patients were randomized to receive either interferon-alpha and placebo or interferon-alpha and bevacizumab. The overall response rate by investigator assessment was significantly higher in the bevacizumab arm (31% vs. 13%). The bevacizumab arm had improved median progression-free survival (survival without progression of disease) compared to the placebo arm (10.2 months vs. 5.4 months). The bevacizumab arm did have increased toxicity, including hypertension, bleeding, and blood clots.
While these results seem encouraging, we know that interferon alpha alone provides only modest benefit. In addition, there are many newer promising therapies available and it would be more helpful to compare treatments using these therapies.