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Avastin Approved for Ovarian Cancer

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The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Avastin (bevacizumab) for the treatment of ovarian cancer.

The new indication specifies that Avastin is to be used in combination with the chemotherapy agents paclitaxel, pegylated liposomal doxorubicin, or topotecan. Patients need to be resistant to treatment with platinums and have recurrent ovarian, fallopian tube or peritoneal cancers.

Avastin is an agent referred as a VEGF-inhibitor or anti-angiogenesis agent. The overall action of Avastin is that it reduces the blood vessel formation to cancer cells. This, in turn, reduces blood flow to cancer cells, inhibiting or reducing their ability to grow and spread.

The clinical trial that led to the new indication of Avastin included 361 patients; approximately half of whom received treatment with chemotherapy alone while the other half received treatment with Avastin plus chemotherapy.

Overall median survival was 22.4 months for those who received Avastin, compared with only 31.2 months for those who were treated with chemotherapy only.
The median progression-free survival (survival with no progression of disease) was 6.8 months for those who received Avastin, compared with only 3.4 months for those treated with chemotherapy only.
Patients with recurrent ovarian, fallopian tube or peritoneal cancers should speak with their physician regarding treatment with Avastin.

Reference: United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Bevacizumab solution in combination with paclitaxel. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/InformationOnDrugs/ApprovedDrugs/ucm423159.htm.