HCP Live
Contagion LiveCGT LiveNeurology LiveHCP LiveOncology LiveContemporary PediatricsContemporary OBGYNEndocrinology NetworkPractical CardiologyRheumatology Netowrk

Drug combination benefits women with recurrent ovarian cancer

Combining the antiangiogenic drug bevacizumab (Avastin) with chemotherapy significantly improves progression-free survival in patients with recurrent ovarian cancer, research from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center shows.

Combining the antiangiogenic drug bevacizumab (Avastin) with chemotherapy significantly improves progression-free survival in patients with recurrent ovarian cancer, research from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center shows.

Patients in the bevacizumab group had a 52% improvement in progression-free survival, and 79% showed a significant decrease in tumor size compared with 57% of women in the placebo group. Tumor shrinkage also lasted longer in the bevacizumab group. The study was unblinded in February 2011 after demonstrating a positive treatment effect.

“This study is extremely important because it demonstrates a clear, clinical, meaningful response from bevacizumab in these cancers,” says lead author Carol Aghajanian, MD. “This is the first phase III trial to show a strong benefit for these patients using an antiangiogenic such as bevacizumab in combination with chemotherapy for recurrent disease.”

“Ovarian cancer tends to present at late stage, and about 80% of women recur after initially being treated with surgery and chemotherapy, so our ability to offer women a new treatment option is very important,” says Dr. Aghajanian, who presented the study results June 4 at the 2011 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

The study was funded by Genentech, manufacturer of Avastin.