Cediranib, an oral anti-angiogenic VEGFR 1-3 inhibitor, was studied at a daily dose of 20 mg in combination with platinum-based chemotherapy and as maintenance in a randomised trial in patients with first relapse of ‘platinum-sensitive’ ovarian cancer and has been shown to improve progression-free survival (PFS).
ICON6 (NCT00532194) was an international three-arm, double-blind, placebo-controlled randomised trial. Between December 2007 and December 2011, 456 women were randomised, using stratification, to receive either chemotherapy with placebo throughout (arm A, reference); chemotherapy with concurrent cediranib, followed by maintenance placebo (arm B, concurrent); or chemotherapy with concurrent cediranib, followed by maintenance cediranib (arm C, maintenance). Due to an enforced redesign of the trial in September 2011, the primary endpoint became PFS between arms A and C which we have previously published, and the overall survival (OS) was defined as a secondary endpoint, which is reported here.
After a median follow-up of 25.6 months, strong evidence of an effect of concurrent plus maintenance cediranib on PFS was observed [hazard ratio (HR) 0.56, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.44-0.72, P < 0.0001]. In this final update of the survival analysis, 90% of patients have died. There was a 7.4-month difference in median survival and an HR of 0.86 (95% CI: 0.67-1.11, P = 0.24) in favour of arm C. There was strong evidence of a departure from the assumption of non-proportionality using the Grambsch-Therneau test (P = 0.0031), making the HR difficult to interpret. Consequently, the restricted mean survival time (RMST) was used and the estimated difference over 6 years by the RMST was 4.8 months (95% CI: -0.09 to 9.74 months).
Although a statistically significant difference in time to progression was seen, the enforced curtailment in recruitment meant that the secondary analysis of OS was underpowered. The relative reduction in the risk of death of 14% risk of death was not conventionally statistically significant, but this improvement and the increase in the mean survival time in this analysis suggest that cediranib may have worthwhile activity in the treatment of recurrent ovarian cancer and that further research should be undertaken.