International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 483–487 | Cite as

A retrospective observational analysis to evaluate the off-label use of bevacizumab alone or with irinotecan in recurrent glioblastoma

  • Michele CecchiEmail author
  • Monica Vaiani
  • Marco Ceroti
  • Roberto Banfi
Research Article


Background Recurrent glioblastoma is nearly always fatal, with median survival rates of approximately 12–14 months. Previous phase II clinical trials showed promising results with bevacizumab, alone or in combination with irinotecan, in patients with recurrent glioblastoma. Objective To assess whether the survival of patients with recurrent glioblastoma receiving bevacizumab alone or with irinotecan in everyday practice is comparable to that reported in clinical trials. Setting This was a retrospective observational study conducted at a single hospital in Italy. Method Patients with recurrent glioblastoma who had received bevacizumab alone or with irinotecan from January 2009 to September 2011 were included in our study. Main outcome measure Progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS), and rates of PFS and OS at 6 months. Results Median PFS was 5.1 months in the bevacizumab group (n = 9) and 15.4 months in the bevacizumab + irinotecan group (n = 10), with 6-month PFS rates of 45 and 69 %, respectively. Median OS was 6.8 months for bevacizumab alone and 11.1 months for bevacizumab + irinotecan, with 6-month OS rates of 100 and 90 %, respectively. Conclusion Although the number of patients included is not sufficient to allow a conclusive statement about the place of bevacizumab in the treatment of recurrent glioblastoma, the data appear promising, and are consistent with the results of clinical trials.


Bevacizumab Glioblastoma Irinotecan Off-label 



The authors would like to thank Dr. Elena Agostino, Dr. Francesco Attanasio, Prof. Gian Paolo Biti, Dr. Silvia Colombini, Dr. Beatrice Detti, Dr. Alessandra Galardi, Dr. Maria Grazia Papi and Dr. Silvia Scoccianti for their valuable help in our research.



Conflicts of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest relating to the content of this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michele Cecchi
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Monica Vaiani
    • 1
  • Marco Ceroti
    • 2
  • Roberto Banfi
    • 1
  1. 1.Pharmacy DepartmentCareggi HospitalFlorenceItaly
  2. 2.Molecular and Nutritional Epidemiology UnitISPOFlorenceItaly
  3. 3.Largo Brambilla 3, Pharmacy DepartmentCareggi HospitalFlorenceItaly

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