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New Roche Data to be Presented at ASCO Offers Further Hope for Cancer Patients

BASEL, Switzerland, May 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Patients with breast or colorectal cancer, two of the world's most common cancers, can expect further treatment advances with Avastin(R) (bevacizumab) and Herceptin(R) (trastuzumab) following new data that is being presented at the 44th American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting in Chicago at the end of May. Around 30,000 medical experts will attend the meeting which is the premier event for cancer therapy worldwide.

The Roche data will show that Avastin and Herceptin are continuing to offer further hope of improving survival in patients with cancers that are still devastating thousands of lives each year.

Breast cancer

-- Avastin: Late-breaking Phase III data from the AVADO study

investigating Avastin in combination with docetaxel (docetaxel, also

known as Taxotere, is one of the most commonly used chemotherapies for

breast cancer) will highlight the encouraging efficacy and safety

results in patients treated first-line for locally recurrent or

metastatic HER-2 negative breast cancer.

-- Herceptin: New results using Herceptin-based therapy for patients with

aggressive HER-2 positive breast cancer will also be unveiled. The

GBG26 study data will focus on the importance of continued treatment

with Herceptin in women with advanced metastatic breast cancer whose

disease progressed on a Herceptin-based therapy.

-- Pertuzumab: Very promising phase II data will be presented on the

investigational drug pertuzumab which will highlight the benefits that

pertuzumab in combination with Herceptin could offer to patients with

advanced breast cancer. Pertuzumab is the first of a new, innovative

class of targeted agents known as HER dimerisation inhibitors that can

inhibit cancer cell growth and ultimately lead to death of cancer


Colorectal cancer

-- Avastin: The first presentation of data from Avastin-based therapy with

or without cetuximab (a drug which attacks cancer differently to

Avastin) in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer will be shared.

-- Avastin: Impressive long-term overall survival data at two years,

involving some 4,000 patients treated with Avastin first-line in

combination with a variety of chemotherapy regimens will confirm the

pivotal role that Avastin is now playing in patients with advanced

colorectal cancer. The results of the studies are significant because

over 50 percent of people diagnosed with colorectal cancer currently

die of the disease and these data show that improvements in survival

are achievable. (1)

Roche will present nearly 300 abstracts and posters at ASCO that demonstrate advances in other major cancers, as well as the data already described above in breast and colorectal. With one of the most comprehensive oncology research and development pipelines in the industry, Roche is striving to deliver even more treatment options in the fight against cancer. For example, Avastin's clinical trial program includes 40,000 patients worldwide.

Key sessions at which Roche data will be presented include:

Breast cancer

Avastin AVADO study. Miles D, et al, Sunday 1 June 2008,

Abstract No. LBA1011, oral 8:30am - 8:45am, E

presentation Hall D1

ASCO press briefing Saturday 31 May

2008, 9:00am, Press


Herceptin HER2-positive metastatic breast Tuesday 3 June 2008,

cancer study. Minckwitz G Von, et 8:00am - 12:00pm,

al, Abstract No. 1025, Poster No. 6. E450b

pertuzumab Results of a phase II trial of Tuesday 3 June 2008,

trastuzumab and pertuzumab in 8:00am - 12:00pm,

patients with HER2-positive E450b

metastatic breast cancer (MBC) who

had progressed during trastuzumab

therapy. Gelmon K et al, Abstract

No. 1026, Poster No. 7.

Colorectal cancer

Avastin Initial Safety Report of National Saturday 31 May

Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel 2008, 3:10 p.m. E

Project (NSABP) C-08, a Randomized Hall D1

Phase III Study of Modified

5-Fluorouracil (5-FU)/Leucovorin and

Oxaliplatin (mFOLFOX6) With or

Without Bevacizumab in the Adjuvant

Treatment of Patients With Stage

II/III Colon Cancer

Avastin Randomized phase III study of Saturday 31 May

capecitabine, oxaliplatin, and 2008, 4:45pm -

bevacizumab with or without 5:00pm, E Hall D1

cetuximab in advanced colorectal

cancer (ACC), the CAIRO2 study of

the Dutch Colorectal Cancer Group

(DCCG). Punt C, et al, Abstract No.


Avastin Surgery with curative intent in Sunday 1 June 2008,

patients treated with first-line 8:00am - 12:00pm,

chemotherapy + bevacizumab for E450a

metastatic colorectal cancer: First

BEAT and NO16966 Cassidy J, et al,

Abstract No. 4022, Poster No. 9

Avastin Final efficacy results for Sunday 1 June 2008,

bevacizumab plus standard first-line 8:00am - 12:00pm,

chemotherapies in patients with E450a

metastatic colorectal cancer: First


Berry S, et al, Abstract No. 4025,

Poster No. 12.

Avastin The safety of long-term bevacizumab Monday 2 June 2008,

use: Results from the BRiTE 8:00am - 12:00pm, S

observational cohort study (OCS). Hall A1

Purdie D, et al, Abstract No. 4103,

Poster No. 14G

Avastin Safety and effectiveness of Sunday 1 June 2008,

bevacizumab (BV) and chemotherapy 8:00am - 12:00pm,

(CT) in elderly patients (pts) with E450a

metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC):

Results from the BRiTE observational

cohort study. Kozloff M, et al,

Abstract N0. 4026, Poster No. 13

Full details of key Roche data presentations will be available on Friday 30th May at an invitation-only media event for non-US journalists. All abstracts are available at: .

Editor's note

-- Breast Cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in women, eight

to nine percent of women will develop this cancer during their

lifetime(1). Each year more than one million new cases of breast

cancer are diagnosed(2) with a death rate of over 500,000 people per


-- Avastin doubles the chance of a patient living without their disease

advancing (progression free survival). When used in combination with

taxanes (chemotherapy), Avastin substantially increases the efficacy of

treatment with limited impact on safety. Studies show that continual

direct VEGF inhibition with Avastin maximizes the treatment benefit for

the patient.

-- Herceptin is a humanised antibody specifically designed to target and

block the function of HER2, which causes fast growing, aggressive

breast cancer tumours. Herceptin delivers high cure rates for women

with HER2 positive early breast cancer and extends survival across all

stages of HER2 positive breast cancer by activating the immune system

and suppressing HER2. Herceptin is considered the foundation of care in

women with HER2-positive breast cancer and is recommended in treatment

guidelines throughout the world.

-- Colorectal cancer is the most common cancer in developed countries(4)

and the second most common cause of death from cancer across all cancer

types in men and women across Europe.(5)

-- Avastin acts by blocking VEGF, the key mediator of tumor angiogenesis,

offering patients a better chance of significantly improved survival.

Avastin is the first anti-angiogenic inhibitor to increase survival in

first and second line treatment and to provide significant improvements

in the time that patients can live without their disease advancing.

The 2008 ASCO Annual Meeting takes place from May 31 to June 3, McCormick Place, Chicago, Illinois, USA. Full details can be found at .

If you or your media colleagues are interested in attending the Roche Media Event during ASCO on 30th May, where the data outlined in brief above will be presented, please contact Anne Cameron (see details below).


1. Wilking N and Jonsson B. A Pan-European comparison regarding patient

access to cancer drugs. Karolinska Institute in collaboration with

Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm, Sweden, 2005

2. World Health Organisation (WHO) 2003.

3. World Health Organisation, Projections of mortality and burden of

disease to 2030:

4. Parkin DM. Estimating the world cancer burden: GLOBOCAN 2000. Int. J

Cancer 2001; (94): 153-156

5. Boyle P, Ferlay J. Cancer incidence and mortality in Europe, 2004.

Annals of Oncology 2005; 16:481-488

Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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