Avastin: Cancer Trials Prove Moderate Success

October 12, 2010

Global drug maker Roche has finally found some success with its flagship drug Avastin. Cancer trials testing treatment of women with ovarian tumors with and without the drug as supplementation to chemotherapy saw a moderate short-term improvement in those using Roche’s medication. Get the full story, with pictures and video below!

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Roche has been attempting to expand the use of its drug with little success. Medical trials of the drug in treating gastric and prostate tumors showed no improvement, and a bid at treating breast cancer has not shown good results.

“The real issue for the FDA remains that the drug doesn’t show any improvement in overall survival for breast cancer, no matter how the data are interpreted,” said market analyst Carri Duncan of the Macquarie Group.

But with Avastin, cancer of the ovaries has been delayed from progressing for an average of 1.5 months. Dr. Tim Perren of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust says the success of drug, commonly known as bevacizumab, is still under study.

“We need to see longer-term data. The key question is does the addition of bevacizumab to chemotherapy improve not just progression-free survival but overall survival as well,” he told reporters.

Perren says the full results of the study will not be known for another 2 years. Despite the relative success of Roche’s drug, analysts are not sure that it will catch on among doctors. The high price tag compared to the relatively small improvement may not prove worth the investment by many.

Still, without any significant improvement in the treatment of this disease in the last decade, Roche’s drug may provide a starting point for further research into treatment. Meanwhile, high price tag or not, anything that could delay the disease is good news for those suffering from the disease. What do you think of Avastin? Cancer drugs are improving all the time, but some think the high price tags on these cutting edge drugs outweigh the benefits. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section. For more on the story, check out the photos and video below!

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Photos: www.wenn.com/ Adriana M. Barraza

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