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December 15, 2006

New Hope for Advanced Lung Cancer

Topics: lung cancer

A new drug that works by targeting a protein needed to develop the many small blood vessels that normally deliver nutrients and oxygen needed by tumors to thrive, is offering new hope for people with advanced lung cancer. The drug, Avastin, literally chokes off the tumor's blood supply:

With those tiny blood vessels out of the way, the remaining blood vessels are healthier, which allows more of the standard chemotherapy drugs into the tumor.

In this study, which involved 878 patients with advanced or recurring lung cancer who were randomly assigned to receive chemotherapy alone or chemotherapy with Avastin, median survival was about one year for patients receiving Avastin vs. about 10 months for patients receiving chemotherapy alone. Avastin patients survived without a progression of their cancer a median of about six months, compared to about four months for those who only received chemotherapy.

In this study, which involved 878 patients with advanced or recurring lung cancer who were randomly assigned to receive chemotherapy alone or chemotherapy with Avastin, median survival was about one year for patients receiving Avastin vs. about 10 months for patients receiving chemotherapy alone. Avastin patients survived without a progression of their cancer a median of about six months, compared to about four months for those who only received chemotherapy.

"Twenty years ago, we thought no treatment could help patients with advanced lung cancer," reports study author Joan Schiller, M.D., from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. "Ten years ago, we found that chemotherapy could improve survival of these patients. Now, we are finding out that this very unique drug called Avastin can also help improve survival even more."

Readers can find much more information here.

Posted by Richard at December 15, 2006 1:10 PM


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