Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK take part in a clinical trial.
A trial of erlotinib and bevacizumab for advanced non small cell lung cancer (BELIEF)
This trial looked at the drugs erlotinib and bevacizumab for non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
It was for people with NSCLC that had spread and had changes to genes affecting a protein called
More about this trial
Doctors often treat non small cell lung cancer that has spread outside the lung (advanced lung cancer) with chemotherapy.
Some cancer cells have specific gene changes (
In this trial, researchers looked at combining erlotinib with another drug called bevacizumab (Avastin).
Bevacizumab is another targeted drug that works in a different way to erlotinib. It stops the cancer forming new blood vessels that would supply the cancer with oxygen and food.
The researchers looked at how these 2 treatments worked in people with cancers that have a particular change in the protein EGFR. This is called T790M.
The aims of the trial were to:
- see how well erlotinib and bevacizumab worked for advanced NSCLC with an EGFR gene change
- learn about the side effects
Summary of results
The trial team found that erlotinib and bevacizumab benefited people whose advanced non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has a change in the EGFR.
The team looked at the tissue samples of everyone and put them into 2 groups. They were
- those who had a change in the T790M
- those who didn’t have this change
This was a phase 2 trial. Everyone had erlotinib and bevacizumab.
Of 109 people who took part:
- 37 people had the T790M change
- 72 people didn’t have the change
The team looked at the results in the following way:
- the total 109 people who took part (overall results)
- those who had the T790M change
- those who didn’t have the T790M change
Response to treatment
The team looked at the number of people whose cancer had responded to treatment.
This is the number of people who had no sign of their cancer:
- overall it was 6 people
- for those who had the T790M change it was 3 people
- for those who didn’t have the T790M change it was 3 people
This is the number of people whose cancer had shrunk:
- overall it was 78 people
- for those who had the T790M change it was 24 people
- for those who didn’t have the T790M change it was 54 people
This is the number of people whose cancer had stayed the same:
- overall it was 17 people
- for those who had the T790M change it was 8 people
- for those who didn’t have the T790M change it was 9 people
For 4 people they couldn’t assess their response to treatment. This was because their cancer was only measured once. So an actual assessment of whether the cancer had changed couldn’t be made.
Progression free survival
This is the average length of time after treatment that their cancer had not got worse.
The team found that:
- overall it was just over 13 months
- for those who had the T790M change it was 16 months
- for those who didn’t have the T790M change it was 10 ½ months
The most common side effects included:
- high blood pressure
- protein in the urine
- tiredness (fatigue)
The trial team concluded the BELIEF trial provides further proof that erlotinib combined with bevacizumab works for people with NSCLC that has an EFGR change.
Other trials are ongoing looking at targeted drugs with bevacizumab for advanced NSCLC that has EGFR and the T790M change.
We have based this summary on information from the research team. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
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.
Dr Sanjay Popat
European Thoracic Oncology Platform (ETOP)
If you have questions about the trial please contact our cancer information nurses
Freephone 0808 800 4040