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Drug combination might offer hope for patients deadly brain tumors
Date:10/18/2007

cally been very little else we could do, said Vredenburgh. We had one patient on this trial who had been already been told to get his affairs in order; he started the trial and over a year later hes still here, so this is very promising.

Bevacizumab has been heralded as a success in treating several types of cancer, including colorectal and lung cancers. It is one member of a class of drugs called anti-angiogenics, which work by stunting the otherwise rapid growth of blood vessels that feed a tumors growth and spread.

We speculate that bevacizumab and irinotecan each attack a particular characteristic of the tumor independently or they work together, with the bevacizumab suppressing the growth of blood vessels which makes the tumor more susceptible to the chemotherapy, Vredenburgh said. Further studies will tease out the exact mechanism of the therapys success and we also hope to study the effectiveness of this treatment in patients with newly diagnosed GBM.

About 8,000 to 10,000 new cases of GBM are diagnosed each year in the United States, and GBMs account for about half of all primary brain tumors, according to Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to hastening the discovery of effective treatments for brain cancer. Less than 30 percent of patients diagnosed with primary GBMs are alive one year after diagnosis, and after 10 years, only 2.3 percent are still alive.

Even when GBMs are effectively treated with surgery or medicines, they return in more than 90 percent of all cases.


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Contact: Lauren Shaftel Williams
lauren.shaftel@duke.edu
919-684-4966
Duke University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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