Cancer Center News

Newly published studies in the New England Journal of Medicine show that by adding the drug treatment of Avastin to more traditional chemotherapy regimens, you may prolong progression free survival of ovarian cancer patients by almost four months.

Avastin shows promise in ovarian cancer treatment


Michael Birrer, Md, Phd, was one of co- authors of the study.  “I think these clinical trials show a clear advantage that at some point in the treatment of ovarian cancer, Avastin, may prove beneficial.  What we have to do now is be able to identify women who will respond the most to this treatment and start them on it early in their diagnosis for maximum benefit.”

Avastin, a Genetech manufactured drug, was recently pulled from by the FDA from the list of approved drugs in the treatment of breast cancer after it failed several benchmarks for helping patients live longer.  It will remain on the market as a treatment for other types of cancers.

Still Birrer says, “It will be another year or so before overall survival benefits from these studies are complete but I suspect that they will show good news for patients.  Any new therapies that can help these patients which traditionally have had such a poor prognosis would be welcome news.”


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