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Avastin significantly prolongs progression free survival in advanced kidney cancer


Patients have a chance to live almost twice as long without their disease returning

Adding Avastin (bevacizumab) to interferon offers patients with advanced renal cell cancer the chance to live twice as long without their disease advancing (“progression free survival”) compared with interferon alone. This is according to results from the pivotal phase III AVOREN trial presented today for the first time at the 43rd annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago.

The results of the AVOREN trial showed that by adding Avastin to interferon, a current standard of care in advanced renal cell cancer:

* Progression free survival was almost doubled from a median of 5.4 to 10.2 months
* Tumour response was significantly increased from 12.8% with interferon alone to 31.4% when Avastin was added to the treatment regimen

“These results are significant because there is a real need for more effective treatments in advanced kidney cancer, where chemotherapy and radiotherapy are not as effective as in other cancers” said Professor Bernard Escudier, Head of Immunotherapy and Innovative Therapy Unit, Institut Gustave-Roussy, Paris, France and Principal Investigator of the study. “Avastin has been shown to be efficacious and well tolerated and is an important new treatment option in the fight against this cancer”

The study also showed a trend towards improved overall survival; however, the overall survival data are still pending. No new or unexpected adverse events were observed.

On an annual basis, in excess of 200,000 people worldwide will receive a diagnosis of kidney cancer and more than 100,000 people worldwide will lose their lives to the disease.1 These figures can be expected to increase as the number of people suffering from cancer rises 50%, as recently estimated by the WHO.2 Roche submitted a Marketing Authorisation Application (MAA) to the European Medicines Evaluation Agency (EMEA) based on the landmark AVOREN study in April 2007.


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