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Targeted therapy extends progression-free survival of patients with advanced ovarian cancer
Date:12/28/2011

rogression over time. Patients who received bevacizumab only with chemotherapy, but not afterward, had a median progression-free survival of 11.2 months.

The National Cancer Institute estimates that nearly 22,000 women were diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2011, and more than 15,000 died of the disease. For patients diagnosed before the cancer has spread, the five-year relative survival rate is about 93 percent (relative survival measures survival of cancer only, independent of other causes of death). But ovarian cancer is insidiousearly symptoms, like bloating, abdominal pain, and trouble eating, are typical of many illnesses and easily dismissed as non-threatening. Women often do not learn they have the disease until it's already spread. In 62 percent of new cases, the patient's cancer has metastasized to distant sites, and the five-year survival rate is just under 27 percent.

Bevacizumab is already FDA-approved for use against some types of colon, lung, kidney and brain cancers; its accelerated approval for metastatic breast cancer was recently revoked by the FDA. The drug acts by binding with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a protein produced by certain cancers that helps initiate the growth of new blood vessels that feed the tumor. The process of growing new blood vessels is called angiogenesis, and bevacizumab is an angiogenesis inhibitor.

"Bevacizumab blocks the growth factor VEGF, which is important in the process of ovarian cancer progression," says Burger, "and we've seen that this drug is also active in patients with recurrent disease."

Angiogenesis happens at the interface between the host and the disease, which makes it an appealing target for treatment, says Burger, who also led the Phase II GOG study on using bevacizumab in women with recurrent ovarian cancer. He says different ovarian cancers may appear identical under the microscope but differ biologically, which means they'll respond differently to
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Contact: Diana Quattrone
Diana.Quattrone@fccc.edu
215-728-7784
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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