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Ohio State study: Targeted ovarian cancer therapy not cost-effective
Date:3/7/2011

COLUMBUS, Ohio An analysis conducted by Ohio State University cancer researchers has found that adding the targeted therapy bevacizumab to the treatment of patients with advanced ovarian cancer is not cost effective.

The findings comparing the relative value of various clinical strategies will be published online March 7 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The researchers performed a cost-effectiveness analysis looking at a clinical trial conducted by the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) studying the use of bevacizumab along with standard chemotherapy for patients with advanced ovarian cancer, said first author Dr. David E. Cohn, a gynecologic surgical oncologist and researcher at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC James).

Bevacizumab is a novel targeted therapy designed to inhibit angiogenesis, the process by which new blood vessels develop and carry vital nutrients to a tumor.

Although a discussion regarding cost-effectiveness of a potentially life-extending intervention invariably suggests the rationing of limited health care resources, the intent of this study was to provide a framework with which to evaluate the pending results of a clinical trial of three different interventions for ovarian cancer, said Cohn.

"We do not suggest that bevacizumab, also known by the brand name Avastin, should be withheld from a patient with ovarian cancer, but rather argue that studies evaluating the effectiveness of new treatments should also be interpreted with consideration of the expense," says Cohn, who collaborated with Dr. J. Michael Straughn Jr., an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

The results of the randomized phase III GOG clinical trial demonstrated an additional 3.8 months of progression-free survival when maintenance bevacizumab was added for about one year following tr
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Contact: Eileen Scahill
Eileen.Scahill@osumc.edu
614-293-3737
Ohio State University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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