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Study finds glioblastoma patients treated with bevacizumab experience reduced cognitive function and quality of life
Date:5/31/2013

CHICAGO, IL Many glioblastoma patients treated with bevacizumab (Avastin) have significant deterioration in neurocognitive function, symptoms and quality of life. Not only that, the changes often predict treatment outcomes, according to new research from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The findings from the large national multi-center Phase III trial, RTOG 0825, were presented today at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Glioblastoma is the most frequent and aggressive type of brain tumor. Despite slight gains, tumors pose a high risk of recurrence and are commonly fatal.

Previous studies found bevacizumab, a monoclonal antibody directed against the vascular endothelial growth factor, prolongs progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with recurrent glioblastoma.

RTOG 0825, one of the largest trials to study the clinical benefit of a brain tumor treatment, evaluated newly diagnosed patients treated with bevacizumab, in addition to standard chemoradiation and maintenance temozolomide, versus those who received a placebo and standard treatment.

Tests measured effects of treatment

Using objective tests of cognitive function and subjective measures of symptoms and quality of life, 507 patients were evaluated at diagnosis and at intervals throughout treatment as long as scans showed their tumors were not progressing.

"Most studies rely on traditional endpoints, including overall survival and radiographic outcomes, such as PFS, with little attention to the impact of the disease and therapies on the patient," said Jeffrey Wefel, Ph.D., associate professor in MD Anderson's Department of Neuro-Oncology and a senior author on the study. "This makes the potential clinical benefit difficult to ascertain."

Neurocognitive changes

At the beginning of the study, patients' neurocognitive function in both groups was below healthy
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Contact: Laura Sussman
lsussman@mdanderson.org
832-264-8893
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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