A trial of bevacizumab with radiotherapy and temozolomide for children with a high grade glioma (HERBY)

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Cancer type:

Brain (and spinal cord) tumours
Children's cancers

Status:

Results

Phase:

Phase 2

This trial looked at bevacizumab, radiotherapy and chemotherapy after surgery for children with a type of brain tumour called a high grade glioma. 

It was for children who had a tumour that wasn’t in the hindbrain (cerebellum) or brain stem.

The trial was for children from 3 years old, up to and including the age of 17. We use the term ‘you’, but of course if you are a parent, we are referring to your child.

More about this trial

Doctors usually treat high grade gliomas with surgery followed by radiotherapy and a chemotherapy drug called temozolomide.

 In this trial, doctors wanted to see if adding bevacizumab improved treatment.

Bevacizumab is a type of targeted cancer drug called a monoclonal antibody. It works by targeting a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor Open a glossary item (VEGF) which helps a tumour to make new blood vessels. 

All cancers need a blood supply to be able to survive and grow. Blocking VEGF can stop the growth of new blood vessels and slow the growth of a tumour.

Doctors already use bevacizumab to treat different types of adult cancers.

The aim of the trial was to see if adding bevacizumab to radiotherapy and temozolomide helped children with high grade gliomas

Summary of results

The trial team concluded that adding bevacizumab to radiotherapy and temozolomide didn’t help children with a high grade glioma. 
 
This trial was open for children to join between 2013 and 2015. The results of the trial were published in 2018.
 
About this trial
This was a phase 2 trial. 121 children and young people took part.  
 
It was a randomised trial. Everyone had surgery to remove their brain tumour. They were then randomly put into 2 groups:
  • 59 children and young people had radiotherapy and temozolomide
  • 62 children and young people had radiotherapy, temozolomide and bevacizumab 

Results
The trial team looked at the average length of time the children and young people were alive and there was no sign of the tumour. They found it was:
  • just over 11½ months (11.8 months) for those who had radiotherapy and temozolomide
  • just over 8 months (8.2 months) for those who had radiotherapy, temozolomide and bevacizumab 

The team are also looking at the average length of time they live after their treatment. Researchers will continue to follow up the children and young people to find this out. When these results are available we will update this summary to include them. 

Side effects
27 children and young people in the temozolomide only group had severe side effects. And 3 stopped treatment due to the severe side effects. 

35 children and young people in the bevacizumab group had severe side effects. And 13 stopped treatment due to the severe side effects.

Conclusion
The trial team concluded that adding bevacizumab to radiotherapy and temozolomide didn’t improve how long these children and young people were alive and had no sign of their tumour. 

This isn’t the same for adults with a high grade glioma. And the trial team says this highlights the importance of doing these trials for children and young people.  

Where this information comes from
We have based this summary on information from the research team. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (peer reviewed Open a glossary item) and published in a medical journal. The figures we quote above were provided by the trial team who did the research. We have not analysed the data ourselves.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Dr Hargrave

Supported by

Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
Roche

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Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

8412

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Over 60,000 cancer patients enrolled on clinical trials in the UK last year.

Last reviewed:

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