Avastin or Bevacizumab is a drug which has been approved by the FDA for use along with chemotherapy after studies proved that it prolonged life as compared to chemotherapy alone.
The drug is a product of Genentech which is a division of the Roche Group, announced today that the US FDA has given its nod for Avastin (bevacizumab) to be used in conjunction with chemotherapeutic drugs such as paclitaxel and cisplatin or paclitaxel and topotecan in patients with recurrent or metastatic carcinoma of the cervix.
Sandra Horning, M.D., chief medical officer and head of Global Product Development said, “With this approval, women with advanced cervical cancer now have the option of Avastin plus chemotherapy to help them live longer than with chemotherapy alone. Cervical cancer is most commonly diagnosed in women between the ages of 35 and 44, and until today, chemotherapy was the only approved treatment option for women whose cancer recurred, persisted or spread.”
Avastin has been approved in the US to treat five different types of tumor. The approval was given on the basis of a GOG-0240 study.
The GOG-0240 or the Gynecologic Oncology Group study is sponsored by the National Cancer Institute which evaluated the efficacy and safety profile of Avastin plus chemotherapy (paclitaxel and cisplatin or paclitaxel and topotecan) in women with persistent, recurrent or metastatic cervical cancer.
The study involved 452 women and the results were as follows-
- A 26% reduction in the risk of morbidity in women who received Avastin plus chemotherapy in comparison to chemotherapy alone
- Women who received Avastin plus Chemotherapy showed 45% shrinkage in tumor size as compared to women who received chemotherapy alone, 34%
Every year 12,000 new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed in the US. Of these 4000 women eventually succumb to the disease. The survival rates vary dramatically between early and advanced cervical cancer. Early stage diagnosis helps to improve survival rates as compared to advanced cervical cancer stage where the cancer has metastasized to other parts of the body.