PURPOSE: Outcomes for children with relapsed and refractory high-risk neuroblastoma (RR-HRNB) remain dismal. The BEACON Neuroblastoma trial (EudraCT 2012-000072-42) evaluated three backbone chemotherapy regimens and the addition of the antiangiogenic agent bevacizumab (B).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients age 1-21 years with RR-HRNB with adequate organ function and performance status were randomly assigned in a 3 × 2 factorial design to temozolomide (T), irinotecan-temozolomide (IT), or topotecan-temozolomide (TTo) with or without B. The primary end point was best overall response (complete or partial) rate (ORR) during the first six courses, by RECIST or International Neuroblastoma Response Criteria for patients with measurable or evaluable disease, respectively. Safety, progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS) time were secondary end points.

RESULTS: One hundred sixty patients with RR-HRNB were included. For B random assignment (n = 160), the ORR was 26% (95% CI, 17 to 37) with B and 18% (95% CI, 10 to 28) without B (risk ratio [RR], 1.52 [95% CI, 0.83 to 2.77]; P = .17). Adjusted hazard ratio for PFS and OS were 0.89 (95% CI, 0.63 to 1.27) and 1.01 (95% CI, 0.70 to 1.45), respectively. For irinotecan ([I]; n = 121) and topotecan (n = 60) random assignments, RRs for ORR were 0.94 and 1.22, respectively. A potential interaction between I and B was identified. For patients in the bevacizumab-irinotecan-temozolomide (BIT) arm, the ORR was 23% (95% CI, 10 to 42), and the 1-year PFS estimate was 0.67 (95% CI, 0.47 to 0.80).

CONCLUSION: The addition of B met protocol-defined success criteria for ORR and appeared to improve PFS. Within this phase II trial, BIT showed signals of antitumor activity with acceptable tolerability. Future trials will confirm these results in the chemoimmunotherapy era.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1135-1145
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology
Issue number10
Early online date8 Jan 2024
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2024


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols/adverse effects
  • Bevacizumab/adverse effects
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dacarbazine/adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Irinotecan/therapeutic use
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local/drug therapy
  • Neuroblastoma/pathology
  • Temozolomide/therapeutic use
  • Topotecan/adverse effects
  • Young Adult


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