Bevacizumab (Avastin), given in combination with paclitaxel, is effective in slowing the progress of untreated recurrent or metastasized breast tumors, according to the interim results of a clinical trial sponsored by the US National Cancer Institute.
Bevacizumab is a monoclonal antibody targeting vascular endothelial growth factor. It is already indicated for use in patients with colorectal cancer and has been shown to extend the life of people with lung tumors.The drug makers Roche Holding AG and Genentech Inc released no data from the trial that includes 722 women with recurrent or metastatic breast cancer. But they said the Data Monitoring Committee overseeing the NCI Institute-sponsored trial recommended that the results of an interim analysis be made public when the study had met its primary endpoint of increasing progression-free survival. “This study is the first to find a benefit of anti-angiogenic therapy in patients with breast cancer and represents a major advance in the treatment of patients with metastatic disease,” study chair Dr. Kathy D. Miller, with the Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis, said in an NCI statement.The companies said they now plan to share the study data with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to discuss the possibility of filing for approval to use the drug against breast cancer. It is currently being rolled out as a treatment for colorectal cancer in Europe. (Source: Reuters Health: Oncolink: April 2005.)