Avastin in Combination
With Chemotherapy Stabilizes Breast Cancer Twice as Long as Chemo Alone
- Advanced Stages Tested - Early Stages Next
Researchers say that combining the drug Avastin with standard
chemotherapy can keep breast cancer under control for a longer period of
time in patients with the advanced disease. Now the researchers want to
find out if the combination therapy will help patients when the disease
has not metastasized.
Doctors combined the drug with the chemotherapy treatment Taxol in 722
patients. They found that the cancer was stable for 11.4 months in
women who received the drug combo compared to 6.11 months in patients
that were only given Taxol. This combined therapy kept the cancer under
control for almost twice as long as relying on the chemotherapy alone.
It is common for doctors to prescribe multiple drugs to treat an
illness. In the case of Avastin and Taxol, the chemotherapy drug
attacks the tumors directly and Avastin interferes with the formation of
blood vessels, effectively starving the tumors for nutrients.
Herceptin has showed promise fighting breast caner in earlier studies.
The problem is, Herceptin can only help women with Her2 positive tumors.
These tumors accounts for only one fifth of the breast cancer cases.
The vast majority of cancer patients can not benefit from Herceptin.
Avastin appears to have no side affects according to Dr. Robin Zon, who
presented the findings to the European Breast Cancer Conference in Nice,
France. The next step is determined if Avastin can be used as an
effective treatment in early stages of breast cancer.
Avastin (bevacizumab) has helped patients with colorectal and lung
cancer as well. The drug is made by Roche Holding AG and its
majority-owned U.S. biotech arm Genentech Inc.
By Dan Wilson
Books on Cancer
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