Dr. Mehta says the cognitive decline may have stemmed from unrecognized progression of the cancer, masked by the use of bevacizumab, or neurotoxicity related to the bevacizumab.
Glioblastoma is the most common and deadliest of malignant primary brain tumors in adults. It strikes two to three out of 100,000 people every year in the United States and Europe. Standard treatment is surgery, followed by radiation therapy and chemotherapy with temozolomide. Even with treatment, the average survival is approximately only 16 months. Few patients survive beyond five years. This cancer is characterized by the growth of new blood vessels, known as angiogenesis. Bevacizumab, a monoclonal antibody, is an angiogenesis inhibitor that targets a chemical signal, vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A).
The study, which was led by principal investigator Mark Gilbert, M.D., a neuro-oncologist at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, was sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) (U10 CA21661 and U10 CA37422). Genentech provided additional support through an educational grant.
E. Albert Reece, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., vice president for medical affairs at the University of Maryland and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, says, "Although researchers found that bevacizumab did not improve survival for patients newly diagnosed with glioblastoma, large-scale clinical studies such as this provide scientists with very valuable information and lay the groundwork for future research. Patients with glioblastoma have very few treatment options, and we need to continue our search for new ways to attack this very aggressive cancer."
Dr. Mehta notes that angiogenesis inhibitors, such as bevacizumab, have shown great promise in the treatment of cancer, but this
|Contact: Karen Warmkessel|
University of Maryland Medical Center