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Cancer Drug Avastin not a Successful Treatment for Fatal Brain Tumors: Study

Filed June 4th, 2013 edlieber1

A new study found that Avastin did not extend the life period of patients with deadly brain tumors.

Researchers from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston found no advantage in using Roche Holding AG’s drug as a first-line therapy against the cancer glioblastoma, reported. They concluded that the survival benefit did not exist. Avastin is currently sold for use against colon, lung and brain tumors.

The study of 637 glioblastoma patients showed that patients who got Avastin along with chemotherapy lived a median of 15.7 months compared with 16.1 months for patients given chemotherapy alone, reported. Equally as concerning, patients who took Avastin also had a higher rate of side effects, including bleeding, pulmonary embolism, and hypertension.

Roche also released final data from its separate 921-patient study of Avastin as an initial glioblastoma treatment. That study also showed no improvement in survival among patients who were treated with Avastin first, reported. However, the study found that Avastin did slow down the time it took the disease to spread further to a median of 10.6 months from 6.2 months.


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