PharmExec Blog

Avastin Study Shows Promising Data for Cancer Patients

Genentech released the results of its Phase III Avastin study showing that women that take the ovarian cancer treatment in tandem with chemotherapy had a 39 percent improvement in the likelihood of living longer without the disease worsening than patients being treated with just chemotherapy.

The data was released at the annual meeting of American Society of Clinical Oncologists. According to Roche, Genentech’s parent company, patients treated with a combination of Avastin and chemo, followed by the continuation of Avastin alone, survived more that 14 months without seeing symptoms worsen. Comparatively, patients on chemotherapy alone were progression-free for about 10 months.

Roche studied 1,873 untreated patients with advanced ovarian cancer. Patients taking Avastin with chemo saw a higher frequency of adverse events including low white blood cell counts, pain, gastrointestinal problems, and hypertension.

Here’s a run down of the other news coming out of Chicago:

•Argos Therapeutics released positive Phase II data about its AGS-003 drug in combination with sunitnib for the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma. “Sunitinib has been shown to modulate the immune system by decreasing T-regulatory cells that can potentially suppress immune responses in the tumor microenvironment,” said Asim Amin, co-director, Immunotherapy Program for the Blumenthal Cancer Center.

•Novartis announced that a Phase II trial involving the drug Afinitor showed positive results in dropping the size of benign brain tumors caused by tuberous sclerosis. Of the 28 patients in the study, 75 percent saw a decrease of around 30 percent in size.

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