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Avastin Unsuccessful as Adjuvant Therapy in Setting of Stage II and III Colon Cancer but May Be Effective if Given for Longer Duration
Date:5/30/2009

Cancer researchers from the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) and Allegheny General Hospital (AGH) in Pittsburgh reported today at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Orlando that use of the drug bevacizumab (Avastin) in combination with standard chemotherapy was not effective in prolonging disease-free survival (DFS) among patients with stage II and stage III colon cancer when given for one year. There is promise that using Avastin for periods longer than one year will lead to improved efficacy.

Pittsburgh, PA/Orlando, FL (Vocus) May 30, 2009 -- Cancer researchers from the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) and Allegheny General Hospital (AGH) in Pittsburgh will report today at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Orlando that use of the drug bevacizumab (Avastin) in combination with standard chemotherapy was not effective in prolonging disease-free survival (DFS) in patients with stage II and stage III colon cancer when given for one year. There is promise that using Avastin for periods longer than one year will lead to improved efficacy.

Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2004 for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer and subsequently for the treatment of breast and lung cancer, Avastin is a medicine that interferes with the growth of cancer cells by inhibiting the formation of new blood vessels in cancerous tumors.

According to Norman Wolmark, M.D., principal investigator and chairman of both the NSABP and AGH’s Department of Human Oncology, the study being presented at ASCO is the first to explore use of Avastin in the adjuvant setting for patients with earlier stages of colon cancer.

Between September, 2004 and October, 2005, 2,710 patients with stage II and stage III colon cancer were randomized in the prosp
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