Authors’ Contributions: Conception and design: Simon P. Gampenrieder; Collection and assembly of data: Simon P. Gampenrieder and Theresa Westphal; Data analysis and interpretation: All authors; Manuscript writing: Simon P. Gampenrieder and Theresa Westphal; Critical revising of the manuscript: Theresa Westphal, Richard Greil; Final approval of manuscript: All authors
Based on a strong rationale for anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) treatment in breast cancer and promising preclinical data, great hopes have been placed on the anti-VEGF antibody bevacizumab. Clinical trials, however, reported conflicting results. In metastatic human epidermal growth factor receptor 2(HER2)-negative breast cancer, the addition of bevacizumab to standard chemotherapy improved consistently progression-free survival (PFS), however, without effect on overall survival (OS). In early breast cancer bevacizumab increased the pathologic complete response rate (pCR) after neoadjuvant therapy, but adjuvant trials did not demonstrate an effect on long-term survival. Unfortunately, despite extensive research, there is still no biomarker for bevacizumab efficacy available, making patient selection difficult. This review summarizes all phase III trials investigating efficacy and toxicity of bevacizumab in early, locally advanced and metastatic breast cancer. It recapitulates the main toxicities, gives an overview on biomarker studies and discusses the role and future aspects of antiangiogenic therapy in breast cancer.