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April 18, 2005

Avastin (Bevacizumab, rhuMAb-VEGF) Plus Chemotherapy Appears to Produce Significant Benefit in First-Line Metastatic Breast Cancer

Topics: Clinical Pharmacology

This new drug is part of a class of cancer drugs known as angiogenesis inhibitors, which work by shutting down the blood vessels that feed tumors, effectively starving the tumor. Avastin targets a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which plays a role in making new blood vessels for tumors (a process called angiogenesis).

"In the near future, angiogenesis inhibitors including Avastin may be employed in unprecedented new approaches that are not feasible with conventional therapy," forecasts angiogenesis pioneer Judah Folkman, MD, the Julia Dyckman Andrus Professor of Pediatric Surgery at Harvard Medical School, where he is also professor of cell biology.
Interim analysis shows improved progression-free survival with Avastin for patients with previously untreated metastatic breast cancer - the third cancer to show benefit with Avastin.

(...) Roche and Genentech, Inc., have announced that Avastin (bevacizumab, rhuMAb-VEGF) in combination with chemotherapy, significantly improves progression-free survival in patients with previously untreated, metastatic breast cancer. This is in addition to the positive survival benefit with Avastin observed in advanced colorectal cancer and the recently announced data in locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer.

(...) ... an anti-angiogenesis drug, Avastin works by choking off the blood supply that is essential for the growth of the tumour and its spread throughout the body. The phase III study investigated the use of Avastin in combination with paclitaxel chemotherapy in patients who had not received any previous treatment for their metastatic disease (first-line). The companies were advised by the trial group conducting the study, that an interim analysis of the study showed that it met its primary efficacy endpoint of improving progression-free survival, the length of time the cancer is stable, compared to chemotherapy alone.

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Posted by Richard at April 18, 2005 1:24 PM

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